Melbourne's development by tram: the 11

Melbourne's development by tram: the 11
Alastair TaylorOctober 27, 2016

The route 11 tram not so long ago used to be known as the route 112 which ran from West Preston to St Kilda. The old 112 route was split in two (routes 11 and 12) and route 11 now runs from West Preston and terminates at Victoria Harbour in Docklands.

Route 11 is the primary public transport mode on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and along St Georges Road through Fitzroy North, Northcote, Thornbury and Preston; this is the region we're looking at in this article.

Similar to the 96, route 11 traverses more than one council outside central Melbourne - the Cities of Yarra and Darebin respectively - and has a large, but inconsistently placed, amount of development-friendly zones along the tram corridor.

The numbers

AspectNumber of projectsNumber of dwellings
Residential projects: Planning Assessment7667
Residential projects: Approved6337
Residential projects: Under Construction5127
Melbourne's development by tram: the 11
Linear route 11 map. Yarra Trams

Tram route 11Further information
Timetabled weekday peak frequency6 minutes (10 trams per hour)
Timetabled weekday off-peak frequency10-12 minutes (5-6 trams per hour)
Timetabled weekend daytime frequency10 minutes (6 trams per hour)
Timetabled night-time frequency20 minutes (3 trams per hour); 30 minutes/2 trams per hour (Sunday nights) 24/7 operation Friday/Saturday nights
Raised-platform stops?

Mainly in the City of Melbourne. Many on St Georges Road corridor in City of Darebin, elsewhere limited.

Where do the trams go to sleep?Preston Depot (Miller Street, Preston)
Primary tram class that operates on the route.E (low-floor, 3 section, Bombardiér Flexity)
Annual patronage and rank12,300,000 trips annually (4th busiest). Source***

*** Routes 11 and 12 are the former route 112.

Brunswick St / St Georges Road (City of Yarra)

Of all the northern parts of City of Yarra, Brunswick St, the road most synonymous with the new town of Fitzroy, is the most cherished and it also the strip which has the largest, consistent, application of the development-friendly C1Z. Crossing over Alexandra parade, the zoning becomes more consistent with development restrictions, save for an enclave of commercial zoning near Scotchmer Street.

Unlike on route 96 - where most of the development pipeline is located out of the city of Yarra - on route 11, most of the projects (11) are located south of Alexandra Avenue.

Melbourne's development by tram: the 11
26-56 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North

While located north of Alexandra parade, the project shown above has the largest amount of dwellings, weighing in at a whopping 476 dwellings compared to an average of 39 dwellings per project in the rest of the route 11 corridor.

St Georges Road (City of Darebin)

As the route 11 tram cross into the City of Darebin, not only does the road corridor become far more tram friendly (the tracks are separated from the car lanes) but so does the zoning compared to the northern extremes of the City of Yarra which is dominated by Neighbourhood Residentail Zone.

St Georges Road through Northcote, Thornbury and Preston have had RGZ and C1Z liberally applied as well as a large amount of GRZ is present to either side of the tram corridor in Thornbury.

This section of the route, from the Merri Creek boundary with the City of Yarra to the Preston depot and workshops, route 11 is one of three very closely spaced radial lines. To the east lie the South Morang train line and the easternmost of Melbourne's northerly tram routes, the 86.

Route 86 - High Street - is most definitely the hotspot du jour when it comes to the numbers, but St Georges Road and route 11 shouldn't be written off because when it comes to individual project scale, there's a lot consistency.

Melbourne's development by tram: the 11
The Hutton, Thornbury

Route 11 eventually turns west off St Georges Road and then northward once more onto Gilbert Road however no projects are registering in this area at this time. There are two projects just north of the St Georges Road and Miller Street intersection and they are present in the project list below.

Future directions

At the recent Federal election, this Tram route made it into the news thanks to the local ALP member, David Feeney, finding himself in a spot of bother with a property in the area and out of the blue there was a juicy loin of pork put on the electorate's table by way of a promise to extend the 11 tram somewhat uselessly about 500 metres down Gilbert Road.

Never let simple principles like connecting modes (eg. extending the tram to Reservoir Station) get in the way of good old fashioned pork barrelling!

Given the proximity to Nicholson Street through Fitzroy/Fitzroy North, much of what I wrote in the route 96 piece stands for route 11: Metro 2 - when (if) it happens and wherever the Fitzroy station is located - will have a significant impact on route 11.

Trips from this inner north region to the western end of the CBD would greatly have their travel times reduced on the train, thus opening up more capacity to all existing tram routes which connect with a future Metro 2 cross-town rail line.


Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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