Fantasy tram map
2048 Melbourne fantasy tram map

Earlier in the year, map maker Adam Mattinson showed readers his Melbourne 2047 fantasy rail map.

Now he’s devised a 2048 fantasy tram map based in large part on proposals first put forward in 1923:

What I’ve done is incorporate those proposals with the current network, and then extended some of those routes based on some proposals the Greens had a number of years ago to extend the termini of some routes to connect with train stations (makes sense). The creative liberties I’ve had to make exist in trying to determine which roads these routes would take to arrive at their respective terminus.  The thought process was to try and spread them out along the different roads.

Adam has also created a new route number system – with colour coding to match – based on the CBD street the route passes through or suburban hub (note that train stations noted on the map are as per his 2047 fantasy rail map).

Compared to Melbourne’s existing radial public transport system, this looks a lot like a metro. It’s essentially a grid; there are plenty of lines and many opportunities to interchange between them. Provided the frequencies were high, you could pretty much travel from-anywhere-to-anywhere within the inner suburbs.

There are some necessary compromises though relative to something like the Paris Metro. Adam’s vision covers an area of around 15 km radius, whereas the Paris Metro covers a radius of just 5 – 6 km. Also, trams share road space with cars so they’re not very fast; Paris’s trains operate on dedicated lines (see how dense are our cities compared to Paris?).

Trains will continue to provide the fast radial routes over long distances but something like this network – whether trams or buses – is the way forward. The big challenge is speed, especially dealing with traffic and numerous intersections.