Timeline of Melbourne’s tramway network

This animated timeline of Melbourne's tram network illustrates the rollout of tram tracks across our city over 140 years – from 1884 to 2024. It was created by museum member Geoff Brown, and designed for display on screens at the Melbourne Tram Museum. Geoff describes the background to its development below.

Some time ago I was set a challenge by a young member of my family. “Can you make an animated map of how Melbourne’s tram network developed?” Similar animations are a common feature on YouTube and other platforms.

The process proved more difficult than I expected. Collating the tramway history and dates was easy enough with the assistance of knowledgeable museum members. Finding suitable animation software was more difficult with a number of attempts leading to dead ends.

The most difficult task was deciding on an appropriate presentation style – one with just the right amount of information that does not overwhelm viewers.

I’d be pleased to receive your comments or suggestions, at info@trammuseum.org.au.

Hints for optimal viewing:

  • select playback quality of 1080p for the clearest image
  • expand to full screen to enlarge the timeline
  • if required, you can slow down the animation by adjusting the playback speed.



My thanks to Warren Doubleday, Vincent Hung, Bailey Underwood and Brian Weedon for their assistance.