Tuesday, 13 September 2011

selected descriptions of melbourne's tram system

trams are a quintessential part of melbourne lief so i thought i would write about some of trams i take/have taken a lot in my time living here. you will see from the map below that if i have written about them together it is because they travel the same route for most of the time.
55 (west coburg)
this is the tram you take to get to fraser, zoe and my sister laura's places. the tram is kinda annoying because you have to catch it from william street in the city, which is just that little bit far away from the main streets where all the other trams leave from. the folk on the tram are usually pretty quiet, probably they are all quietly bummed about being on a crap tram line. this is probably one of the most nondescript trams in the city.

70 (wattle park) & 75 (vermont south)
these trams were the ones i took when i lived in hawthorn, which is an inner eastern suburb of melbourne. the 75 was particularly useful because it takes you to 24 hr kmart. me and jacki used to go to kmart after dark sometimes to amuse ourselves. this tram would also take us to erin's friend alannah's house. one time i was on either of these trams and i saw a cute boy and i wrote really large on a piece of paper 'you are a beautiful person, yes you' which is either sweet or insane. at least it is a leap of faith as i had no idea about him at all and frankly only have the memory of doing something weird, don't have a clue about him at all any more

96 (east brunswick)
this tram i used to get when i was doing radio at triple r. the trams are usually the newer style, including this one that is decorated like a bumblebee. for some reason the tram is always really loud, which made it inconvenient as heck trying to talk with my classmates going to and from the radio station.

112 (west preston) 
departs from collins street, commonly taken to get from the city to brunswick street. it is slightly confusing that there is brunswick street in fitzroy and the suburb brunswick and that they are both hip. for people new to melbourne this is probably confusing. stacey and i sat listening to jens lekman and arcade fire from my phone, waiting for the 112 on brunswick street last time she visited. super hip. one time i was out in fitzroy and i was so drunk i lit a cig and it burnt a lil bit of my hair and singed my eyelashes and eyebrow. somehow i made it onto the 112 back to the cit then onto the 70/75 to get back to hawthorn... i'm sure i was delightful tram company

86 (bundoora rmit) 
departs from bourke street, travels along gertrude street, then turns into smith street. both gertrude and smith streets are best on foot. gertrude street has a bunch of nice cafes, pubs and bars. on the cnr of smith and gertie there are a bunch of gay bars. smith street again has more nice bars and cafes. this neighbourhood collingwood. it is a lil bit more 'rough' than fitzroy, so sometimes there are weird people on the tram. if you stay on the tram past the end of smith street you will cross alexandra parade, go up a hill and be on high street in northcote. about two years ago when i didn't live on this side of town, i would write in my notebook on the way out to northcote, write things about finding my husband there. bearded youngfellows are among the sights one will see in northcote. high street also has a lot of really lovely bars and places to go, like the thornbury theatre. i don't know what about the suburb got me in the mood for marriage..........

19 (north coburg) 
this is the tram you take to get to brunswick savers and it goes along sydney road. sydney road has a lot of wedding dress shops and also a lot of turkish or lebanese restaurants on it. the people on the tram are usually a mix of old people and young hip thangs going home or going to savers. but not too many because most of them ride their bikes hehe

1 (east coburg) + 8 (moreland)
these trams travel along swanston street, which is the 'main street' in the city. usually i took them through carlton along lygon street to go to lindy's place. on her first visit to melbourne young teagues, after at least five champagnes, disappeared from this tram rather suddenly, requiring a brief hiatus on lygon street...! as i went to and from lindy's place rather frequently i found myself writing in my notebook a lot while taking these trams. one time i saw somebody else writing in their notebook and i wrote in my notebook that i wished we could write to each other through our notebooks.

109 (box hill)
 this tram runs along collins street in the city and goes out to north richmond which is where ikea is. the tram is unfailingly one of the most new designs of tram that we have, and i like to think this is because collins street is real fancy. a memorable time i took this tram was when i was on acid. my friend fraser lived in north richmond at the time and we were trying to go to camberwell via this cheeky way i knew, which involved waay too many tram changes for the state that we were in. we made it onto the tram, having escaped the 'rising panic' at fraser's flat, which we had started talking about with a sense of irony, but it actually started to be a thing when we were on the tram, and we were so terrified that we were being loud or that everybody could tell we were on acid that we got off the tram and walked for about three hours to get to where we were going.

16 (melbourne university via st kilda) 
so there are a lot of trams that go to melbourne uni. this is because the university is at the top end of swanston street. the 16 tram line is very long indeed. it starts in kew, goes all the way down glenferrie road, through hawthorn, malvern, through balaclava and then along acland street in st kilda, then back along st kilda road past the national gallery of victoria (ngv) and victorian college of the arts (vca). one specific memory i have of this tram is when i was going down glenferrie rd, sitting on it holding hands with somebody and i could see our reflections in the glass. i was surprised seeing myself doing that.


  1. bumblebee tram: http://images.theage.com.au/2010/10/12/1982827/1_beetram-420x0.jpg

  2. There is a place called balaclava, sweet.
    Trams seem sweet.
    Wanna eat honey on the bumblebee tram

  3. Cool stories. There are so many wedding stores on Sydney Rd that the new shopping/visitor guide has a veil symbol to locate them