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City Circle trams

Melbourne's popular free City Circle trams commenced operations in the mid 1990's. They are a popular tourist attraction, and transport people in both directions on a circular route around Melbourne's Central Business District. They take passengers past or near many of central Melbourne's major tourist attractions.

The City Circle tramway project required the construction of several hundred metres of new track along Spring Street between Bourke Street and Flinders Street. Also, the project required inserting additional turning tracks at the junction of Nicholson Street and Victoria Parade, a siding in Spencer Street, north of Latrobe Street and new turning tracks at Latrobe and Swanston Streets.

The trams that commenced operating this line were specially modified and painted SW5, SW6, W6 and W7 class trams. They included Melbourne's oldest passenger tram still in regular service at the time, number 728. This service is operated by Yarra Trams from the company's Southbank Depot.

In 2003, the City Circle route was changed - now City Circle trams operate via Harbour Boulevard in Docklands, rather than via Spencer Street.

The following link takes you to a map extracted from a street directory to show the general locality of the City Circle tram service

Images of the Melbourne's City Circle trams

City Circle tram

    Two City Circle trams, SW6 classes 856 and 909 are pictured here in Spring Street at the Collins Street stop. Passengers are alighting from 909 while 856 waits for its scheduled departure time. This section of track forms part of the track specially constructed for the City Circle route. Passengers on the City Circle tram are treated to views of lovely old buildings such as number 1 Collins Street, at the right of the picture. Image taken 24 May 2000.

City Circle tram

    Cars 909 and 842 were the first two "W" series trams to receive track brakes, following the withdrawal from service of all "W" series trams in mid 2000, over concerns with the safety of their brakes. These two trams resumed service in June 2001. Car 909 was pictured in Spring Street at Collins Street on 15 July 2001. The fittings for the new track brakes are clearly visible between the wheels on each bogie.

City Circle tram

    Framed by the ornate lamps at the front of Melbourne's Old Treasury Building, City Circle tram 1020 waits for its departure time at the Collins Street stop in Spring Street. Image taken 24 May 2000.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram, SW5 class 842 looks resplendent in a new coat of paint (or perhaps a recent wash!) - note the green roof clearly visible in this picture. 842 was photographed in Spring Street at the Bourke Street safety zone. This series of SW5 class is distinguishable by the large lower-side passenger windows. To the left of, and behind, 842 is Melbourne's famous Windsor Hotel. Image taken Wednesday 24 May 2000.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram 856 was photographed in Victoria Parade about to turn into Latrobe Street on Monday 25 August 2003. Note the pantograph fitted to this tramcar.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram 925 was photographed in Latrobe Street, at Swanston Street, in February 2000. In the background is the dome covering the old shot tower inside the giant Melbourne Central shopping complex. Melbourne Central underground station is located beneath the shopping complex. A northbound Z class tram is visible in Swanston Street to the left of 925.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram 728 was photographed in Latrobe Street, at Swanston Street, in February 2000. This tram was, at the time, the oldest regular passenger tram still in regular service in Melbourne (excluding one of the restaurant trams). It is one of the later trams converted to the SW5 class, and is readily distinguishable by the full pane glass windows on the side passenger cabins.

City Circle tram

    While the City Circle tram is notionally a circular service, sometimes there are shortworking arrangements! Here, 856 is shown shunting at the crossover in Latrobe Street, just west of Elizabeth Street, in February 2000.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram 842 was photographed in Spencer Street, north of Latrobe Street, in February 2000. This tram was stored at this location as the Collins Street/Spencer Street junction was being reconstructed, thus isolating these trams from their normal route back to Southbank Depot.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram 1020 was photographed in Flinders Street waiting to turn into Spencer Street in February 2000. At left is A2 class 261, while 1020 is followed by another A class tram also waiting to turn into Spencer Street. The Flinders Street railway viaduct was at least partially closed to electric trains, as evidenced by the Great Northern locomotive heading a ballast train on the viaduct.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram, W7 class 1011 is shown leaving the east entrance to Southbank Depot on Sunday 23 April 2000, while A1 tram 253 speeds by on its journey to Port Melbourne. This tram was the only "W" series City Circle tram I have seen with such prominent advertising on its sides, in this case for a community program to honour the nation's scientists.

271 - City Circle

    Following the temporary withdrawal of all W class trams from service due to reported concerns about their braking, four A class trams were pressed into service on the City Circle service. This picture taken on Sunday 18 June 2000 shows A2 class tram 271 on the City Circle service. Note the signs saying City Circle - Reduced Service on the apron and the side of the tram.

City Circle tram

    City Circle tram, SW5 class tram 842, was pictured at the intersection of Flinders Street Extension and Wurundjeri Way in May 2003.


City Circle tram

    City Circle tram, W6 class tram 100, was pictured at the Docklands Park stop in May 2003.


City Circle tram

    Green painted SW6 class tram, 946, was pictured on the City Circle service in Harbour Boulevard at Bourke Street in May 2003.


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Last update: 20/09/2003