|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (July 2012)|
|Melbourne rail network|
|Clifton Hill group|
|List of stations|
Several proposals have been put forward by various groups to expand the Melbourne rail network—proposals for additional rail lines, extensions to existing lines, as well as electrification to existing lines and new stations on existing lines. Some of these plans were so seriously considered at various times that they appeared in the Melway street directory, and on suburban train destination rolls. As of November 2006[update] a number of these plans continue to be discussed by the Department of Infrastructure, local councils, the Victorian Labor Party, Victorian Greens, and several other groups.
Some of these proposals include:
Inner city 
West–South East Rail Tunnel 
- On 2 April 2008 Sir Rod Eddington released his Investing in Transport—East West Needs Assessment report. It features a proposed 17 km long tunnel starting from West Footscray station running via the Parkville precinct, under Swanston Street, St Kilda Road, and Dandenong Road to Caulfield. Sunbury, Pakenham and Cranbourne line trains would run through it. The State Government accepted the recommendation in its Transport Plan, which proposed a two stage approach to building a $4.5 billion Melbourne Metro tunnel—the first stage from Dynon to Domain, then the second from Domain to Caulfield.
North–South Rail Tunnel 
- In 2008 The Greens proposed an inner city metro in their transport discussion paper The People Plan. Amongst the proposals were underground rail from Jewell to Melbourne Central with a station at Parkville, railway along a sunken channel between Parkville and a proposed Doncaster line, and underground rail from South Yarra to Southern Cross with stations at King's Domain and Southbank.
- A 2007 proposal by the State Government involves connecting one of Craigieburn or Sydenham lines through to one of the Caulfield group of lines.
- A proposal suggested by the Melbourne City Council in 2005 is to build an underground rail line, the North South Rail Tunnel Metropolitan, through the inner city of Melbourne. This tunnel would run from Jewell in Brunswick, and possibly Newmarket through to Windsor station, stopping at new and existing stations at Parkville near Melbourne University (new), Melbourne Central (existing), Flinders Street (existing) and Domain station (new) to the south. As well as providing train transport to these new areas the proposed line would greatly speed travellers running north-south through the CBD—this journey takes 36 minutes by tram and is overcrowded. The proposal also suggests the possibility of linking the Caulfield group of lines to this tunnel.
Western suburbs 
Werribee line 
- Two new stations on the Werribee line have been proposed: one between Werribee and Hoppers Crossing at Derrimut Road, and another between Hoppers Crossing and Aircraft to serve Point Cook and Williams Landing residents. A design for the Williams Landing railway station was released by the Ministry of Transport on 4 June 2010 and is now in use.
- Reopening Werribee Racecourse railway station for special events. The platform is still in reasonably good condition but is not serviced by electrification which ends east of the Werribee Street level crossing (about 1 km short).
- Sir Rod Eddington's Investing in Transport—East West Needs Assessment report also recommends a rail line from West Werribee to Sunshine (the non-electrified Tarneit link). The recommendation was accepted in the government's Transport Plan and is currently costed at $4.3 billion. The Tarneit link will provide an alternative rail corridor for Werribee line passengers with up to 6 proposed new Stations at Black Forest, Wyndham Vale, Sayers, Chartwell, Tarneit & Truganina. Preliminary construction work commenced August 2009.
Melton line 
- Electrifying part or all of the Melton greater metropolitan line, creating new train stations at Deer Park West and Caroline Springs, as well as a potential new station at Toolern, south east of Melton Township. This electrification was confirmed to be done in the Victorian Governments 2008 transport plan. A design for Caroline Springs was released publicly 4 June 2010.
Sydenham Line 
- Extension of the Sydenham line electrification to Sunbury station. Proposed as far back as 1969, during October 2007 it was announced that design work on the project would commence, the project also being recommended in Sir Rod Eddington's East West Link Needs Assessment report released in 2008. The December 2008 Transport Plan mentioned that electrification was to begin within the next two years.
On 26 June 2010 The Ministry of Transport announced that work had begun on this project, with an anticipated completion date in 2012.
The line opened as the Sunbury Line on 18 November 2012.
Northern suburbs 
Melbourne Airport line 
A rail link to the Melbourne Airport, branching off either the Albion–Jacana freight line or the Rail Tunnel at Sunshine under construction from Sunshine to Southern Cross (for the regional rail link).
- In 2008, The Greens proposed a railway line to Melbourne Airport from Essendon with stations at Essendon Airport and at the Westfield shopping centre.
- MP Kosky decided to contract SkyBus for another five years despite Melbourne Airport asking for an airport rail link.
Albion-Jacana line 
- Electrification of the currently freight only Albion-Jacana railway line, with new passenger stations at Sunshine North, Keilor East, Westfield Shoppingtown Airport West and Gowanbrae.
Craigieburn line 
The line between Broadmeadows and Craigieburn has been electrified to become the Craigieburn line, with services beginning on 30 September 2007. New stations also proposed for this extension but built as part of the electrification are Patullos station at Patullos Lane, and Coolaroo station at Pascoe Vale Road. During the 2006 State Election campaign, the Government promised to build Coolaroo Station by 2010.
Upfield line 
- The construction of a branch line was proposed between Flemington Bridge Station and Pascoe Vale Station in the early 1890s as a means of reducing Melbourne's rising unemployment rate. Three stations were planned, tentatively named Bent Town, Munroville and La Rose.
- A spur line branching from the Upfield line along the former Inner Circle rail easement to Princes Park, was proposed by the Public Transport Users Association in 1991, primarily as a means of transporting sports fans to the football ground.
- The North-South Tunnel—a conversion of the Upfield line to an underground metro line from Melbourne Central underneath Royal Parade–Sydney Road—included in Victorian Greens, The People Plan.
North-eastern suburbs 
Doncaster line 
Plans for the Doncaster line first appeared in the 1890s, when the Government was considering a line from Heidelberg Station. Plans again re-emerged in 1969, when The Age announced that the Victorian Railways had started detailed planning for the line, which would branch off the Hurstbridge/Epping lines at Victoria Park and run down the Eastern Freeway median strip, then to Bulleen Road, Bulleen, where it would travel between houses and proposed tunnels to Doncaster East.
By 1982 plans to build the line had been shelved by the state government, and by 1984 land for the line once it left the freeway had been sold. More recent proposals have suggested the line would run in a tunnel from Bulleen Road to a station at Doncaster Hill (Shoppingtown), or branch from the proposed Jewell-Windsor line at Parkville station. In this case, an additional station would be built at Carlton before the line reaches the Eastern Freeway.
During the 2006 state election, the Victorian Liberal Party promised to extend the number 48 tram to Doncaster Hill, claiming that constructing the heavy rail line would cost around $1 billion and was deemed too expensive an option.
In 2008, the Victorian Greens released The People Plan, a reflection of their official policies, which includes the Doncaster line as well as the extension of the number 48 tram. As of 2009, every transport advocacy group and the local councils affected, fully support the construction of the line in conjunction with the aim of promoting future transit-oriented development.
On Thursday 14 March 2013 the Minister for Public Transport released the Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Draft Recommendations Report. The study estimates daily patronage of up to 56,000 people.
Epping line 
- An extension of the former Epping line to South Morang, along the alignment of the former Whittlesea Line. The extension includes duplication of 5.3 km of track between Keon Park and Epping, and lowering of the tracks at Epping and relocation of the station Construction of this extension began in March 2010, and commenced operation on 22 April 2012.
- A second Epping line extension being considered is to the developing Aurora Estate. It may branch off at Lalor, and pass Epping Plaza and Epping North. The State Government's "Secure Reservations for Major Transport Corridors Project" has resulted in the alignment for this link being protected.
Hurstbridge line 
- An extension of the Hurstbridge line to East Reservoir, was proposed in the 1950s as a means of opening up the area east of High Street towards Darebin Creek for residential development. The proposed route was a branch line from Alphington station to East Reservoir. The proposed line consisted of five stations and several bridges which meant that the line would not interfere with any road traffic (Route Map). The proposed cost was approximately £250,000.
- An additional station at Eltham North on Allendale Road in between Eltham and Diamond Creek was considered by the Transport Department. This station was intended to serve the population of Eltham North and St Helena and therefore help decrease the number of passengers using Eltham and Diamond Creek stations. However, as there are more important issues on Melbourne's train network, the proposal was scrapped and is now unknown whenever or not the Allendale Road station will ever be constructed.
Eastern suburbs 
Lilydale line 
- Extending the Lilydale line to Coldstream station by electrifying part of the closed Healesville line, being first proposed in the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan.
- A new line to Rowville — the "Rowville Rail Link" — would be a new line from Huntingdale station eastwards along North Rd and Wellington Rd to Monash University, Waverley Park and on to Rowville. The Greens proposed that Stud Park shopping centre be the terminus for the line. The proposal is supported by Monash University and activist group the Coalition for People's Transport
- A second option to serve the Rowville area is an extension of the Glen Waverley Line to Rowville via Wantirna South.
- The 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan proposed a railway from Huntingdale though Rowville to Ferntree Gully on the Belgrave line.
- Minimum line speed of 80 km/h
- Stations should allow 230m long platforms to accommodate 9-car trains
- No new level crossings
- A Maximum gradient of 2%
Alamein line 
- The 1940 Ashworth Improvement Plan identified future works to extend the Alamein to East Malvern.
- Extending the Alamein line to Oakleigh, along the old Outer Circle line reservation, primarily to serve Chadstone Shopping Centre.
South-eastern suburbs 
Frankston line 
- Black Rock railway line, a 1960s proposal, which consisted of a branch line from Moorabbin to Black Rock. There were 4 stations proposed, including stations at Bay St and Cheltenham Road. The proposal was rejected by government despite a petition from over 3,000 local residents.
- Extending the Frankston line to Hastings or Baxter by electrifying part of the Stony Point line, the terminus varying by the proposal.
- Building a station between Highett and Cheltenham on the Frankston line to serve the Westfield Southland shopping centre. This station has been promised by the Victorian Government. The railway station is to cost $13-million, it will have two Railway platforms and the station will be a Premium Station. The project is expected to be completed by 2014.
Pakenham line 
- Re-opening General Motors Station. The platform remains intact and possible names include Doveton or Eumemmerring.
- A new station between Officer and Pakenham on the Pakenham railway line. The State Government "Meeting our Transport Challenges" strategy lists the new station for construction after 2008, as Cardinia Road station. Tenders were called for construction on 14 May 2010, and the station was opened on 22 April 2012.
Cranbourne line 
- Building Lynbrook station between Dandenong and Merinda Park stations on the Cranbourne line. The State Government "Meeting our Transport Challenges" strategy lists the new station for construction after 2008. Tenders were called for the construction of this station on 14 May 2010, and the station was opened on 22 April 2012.
- Extending the Cranbourne line to Cranbourne East. This extension was first promised in 1999 by the State Government led by Steve Bracks but has since fallen by the wayside. One proposed location for the new station would be the corner of Berwick-Cranbourne Road and Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road.
Dandenong – Frankston line 
Southern suburbs 
St. Kilda Line 
Although the St Kilda Line has been converted to Light Rail operation and is now part of Melbourne's Tram network, several proposals for rail extensions existed throughout its working life.
- Various proposals have existed to extend the St Kilda line to Elwood.
- In 1857, a proposal was brought forward to bring the Gippsland Railway into Melbourne via Elsternwick, Elwood and St Kilda.
- In 1882, an Albert Park to Elwood Railway was listed on that year's Railway Construction Bill. Despite general public support, the Elwood line was later deleted as it was felt that the area was already well served by public transport.
- During 1884, William Ross developed plans to extend the St Kilda line to his Rosstown Railway via Elwood. Two routes, a Sea Beach and inland Melbourne Extension were proposed.
- The 1940 Ashworth Improvement Plan identified future works to extend the St Kilda south easterly to Elwood. These included a tunnel under Fitzroy Street and 3 stations.
- In 1954 the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works released their Planning Scheme for Melbourne which contained a new station on Southbank and a direct route to Spencer St station.
- In the 1970 Tewksbury Symposium, a group of Melbourne University academics proposed a "by-pass" line from the Glen Waverly railway via Caulfield and Elsternwick, to link up with the St Kilda line. There were serious flaws in the reasoning used to demonstrate the viability of their proposal, as it was framed as part of an alternative scheme to the Melbourne Underground Loop.
Port Melbourne Line 
Although the Port Melbourne Line has been converted to Light Rail operation and is now part of Melbourne's Tram network, several proposals for rail extensions existed throughout its working life.
- A 5 km north south tunnel under Flinders Street to near North Fitzroy Station on the Inner Circle railway line with 5 new underground stations proposed extension was mooted in the 1940 Ashworth Improvement Plan.
- Six new stations and a Fisherman's bend loop line were proposed as means of coping with the increased number of industrial workers as a result of the 1954 Yarra river widening and port improvement scheme of the Melbourne Harbour Trust.
Status and future of these proposals 
Many of these proposals were created decades ago, and are no longer seriously being considered by transport authorities. Of these, only the Cardinia Road, Coolaroo, Lynbrook and Williams Landing stations, and the South Morang line extension are mentioned in the current government's 2006 "Meeting Our Transport Challenges" plans.
In the case of South Morang on the Epping Line, both the Department of Transport and the local council recommended its construction, and development work was completed and the extension opened during 2012. This fulfilled a promise by former Premier, Steve Bracks (who retired mid-2007) upon coming to power in 1999. At the subsequent 2002 election this promise was deferred, with the "Trainlink" bus service discussed below introduced instead. Until recently, this project had been sidelined in favour of the extension of the Broadmeadows line to Craigieburn. The main reason for the delay is the capacity problems on the Epping line (and in turn the Hurstbridge line) mainly related to the various sections of single track.
These capacity problems were resolved in part with the duplication of the bridge across Merri Creek, which was opened January 2009. As of 2010, the duplication of the 5.3 km of single line from Keon Park to Epping was complete along with the extension to South Morang.
The Cranbourne East proposal has re-emerged in recent years, and a commercial feasibility study conducted by M>Train, former operator of that half of the city's rail system, found that it should be examined as a long-term project.
While some of the other proposals here have also come back into the spotlight in recent years, one which might one day be built is the Rowville line. While the Department of Infrastructure does not appear to be taking this seriously at present, the local council has begun a campaign to demand the construction of the line. Mooted routes are from Glen Waverley, tunnelling under residential areas and along the Dandenong Creek valley, or from the Dandenong line near Huntingdale and following the alignment of North and Wellington Roads.
As a medium-term solution, the government introduced two "Trainlink" bus routes in late 2003. No. 896 serves estates in Cranbourne East and links to Cranbourne, connecting with each train arrival and departure, seven days a week, from 4:30am to after 1:00am. Trainlink No. 571, served Plenty Valley Shopping Centre, Mill Park North, and South Morang until completion of the South Morang rail extension in 2012.
See also 
- Proposed Melbourne tram extensions
- List of Melbourne railway stations
- List of closed railway stations in Melbourne
- Ashworth Improvement Plan
- 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan
- "Railpage Australia Forums - Discussion on the 1979 Melway street directory". Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "Vicsig - Destination Rolls". Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "The Victorian Transport Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- "The People Plan Discussion Paper" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-11.
- "Underground revolution - $2bn secret railway plan". The Age (Melbourne). 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Moynihan, Stephen (16 August 2007). "New rail tunnel proposal gains momentum". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Melbourne Future Transport Options, Final Report: Professor Graham Currie, Institute of Transport Studies, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University
- Kleinman, Rachel (20 July 2006). "Council proposes underground train line". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- http://jp.metlinkmelbourne.com.au Metlink Journey Planner, Origin: 19-Brunswick Rd/Sydney Rd, Destination: 20-Domain Interchange/St Kilda Rd
- C L Fouvy. "The Melbourne region's opportunity and need for rapid transit" (PDF). Railway Technical Society of Australasia. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "Sunbury Electrification project Track Civil and Signalling design". Department of Infrastructure. Retrieved 2008-05-21.[dead link]
- "Strategies and plans - East West Link Needs Assessment final report - Extension of the suburban network to Sunbury" (PDF). www.doi.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- "STRONG SUPPORT FOR AIRPORT TRANSIT LINK". DoI media release. 6 April 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "SkyBus deal thwarts rail link to Melbourne Airport". 27 August 2008.[dead link]
- Murphy, Mathew (4 April 2008). "Rail link way down the track". The Age (Melbourne).
- "DoI - New metropolitan railway stations". Retrieved 2007-09-30.
- Coburg Historical Society Newsletter, No 49, June 1997
- Greening Melbourne with Public Transport, Public Transport Users Association, 1991
- Stephen Cauchi (February 1998). "Whatever Happened to the Proposed Railway to Doncaster East". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): page 41–42.
- Moynihan, Stephen (18 October 2006). "Rail line would replace 10,000 cars". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "Waiting for the train that never came". The Age (Melbourne). 24 October 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "'BOOSTING MELBOURNE’S RAIL NETWORK' - March 2006" (PDF). MEETING OUR TRANSPORT CHALLENGES. Archived from the original on 10 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- HAVE YOUR SAY: New station on track for Eltham if Libs win poll
- Yarra Ranges Council: Lilydale-Healesville 08-11-06 incorporating new trail costs report
- Public Transport Users Association - Time to Move (2002)
- "Knox City Council - Rowville Rail Study - 2004" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- Millar, Royce (22 December 2005). "Chaddy about to get a whole lot bigger". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "City of Kingston Historical Website - 'Beaumaris Railway Spur'". Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- Grady, New Jersey (1985). "Electrification - Overhead Line Equipment for the Year 2050". Conference on Railway Engineering 1985
- "City of Kingston Historical Website - 'Railway Station at Bay Road'". Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- , additional text.
- "MEETING OUR TRANSPORT CHALLENGES - 'BOOSTING MELBOURNE’S RAIL NETWORK' - March 2006" (PDF). Archived from the original on 27 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "PLANNING UNDERWAY FOR EXTENSION OF MELBOURNE’S RAIL AND TRAM NETWORK" (PDF). DoI media release. 15 May 2001. Archived from the original on 12 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- "City of Casey - 'Mayor Briefs State Election Candidates' - 7 September 2006". Retrieved 2007-07-30.
- D.F. Jowett & I.G. Weickhardt (1978). Return To Rosstown – Railways, Land Sales and Sugar Beet Ventures in Caulfield. Rosstown Historical Research Group, Chapter 9.
- 1954 Planning Scheme, Melbourne Board of Works
- D.F. Jowett & I.G. Weickhardt (1978). Return To Rosstown – Railways, Land Sales and Sugar Beet Ventures in Caulfield. Rosstown Historical Research Group, Chapter 13.
- Department of Infrastructure - Linking Melbourne: Metropolitan Transport Plan (November 2004)
- Department of Infrastructure - Meeting our Transport Challenges (March 2006)
- Public Transport Users Association proposals
- Department of Transport - The Victorian Transport Plan (July 2010)
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