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Proposed Melbourne rail extensions

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,[1] and on suburban train destination rolls.[2]


  • Proposals 1
    • Inner city 1.1
      • West–South East Rail Tunnel 1.1.1
      • North–South Rail Tunnel 1.1.2
    • Western suburbs 1.2
      • Werribee line 1.2.1
      • Melton line 1.2.2
    • Northern suburbs 1.3
      • Melbourne Airport line 1.3.1
      • Albion–Jacana line 1.3.2
      • Craigieburn line 1.3.3
      • Upfield line 1.3.4
    • North-eastern suburbs 1.4
      • Doncaster line 1.4.1
      • South Morang line 1.4.2
      • Hurstbridge line 1.4.3
    • Eastern suburbs 1.5
      • Lilydale line 1.5.1
      • Rowville 1.5.2
      • Alamein line 1.5.3
    • South-eastern suburbs 1.6
      • Frankston and Stony Point line 1.6.1
      • Pakenham and Cranbourne line 1.6.2
    • Southern suburbs 1.7
      • St. Kilda Line 1.7.1
      • Port Melbourne Line 1.7.2
  • Infrastructure constructed for future projects, not used 2
    • Western and Southwestern suburbs 2.1
      • Werribee and Williamstown lines 2.1.1
      • Sunbury and Melton lines 2.1.2
      • Craigieburn and Upfield lines 2.1.3
    • North-eastern suburbs 2.2
      • Doncaster line 2.2.1
      • Hurtsbridge line 2.2.2
    • Eastern suburbs 2.3
      • Ringwood, Lilydale and Belgrave lines 2.3.1
      • Alamein and Glen Waverley lines 2.3.2
    • South-eastern suburbs 2.4
      • Frankston and Stony Point line 2.4.1
      • Pakenham and Cranbourne line 2.4.2
    • non-electrified Victorian routes 2.5
  • References 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5


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.[3]

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.[4]
  • A 2007 proposal by the State Government involves connecting one of Craigieburn or Sydenham lines through to one of the Caulfield group of lines.[5][6]
  • 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.[7][8] 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.[9] The proposal also suggests the possibility of linking the Caulfield group of lines to this tunnel.

Western suburbs

Werribee line

  • 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).[10]
  • 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.[3] 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.[11]

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).[12]

  • According to the Victorian Government's Plan Melbourne strategy for urban development, released in October 2013, a Melbourne Airport rail link is listed as a "long term" project, with construction estimated to begin between 2025-2050.[13] On 26 February 2013, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine announced a commitment to complete an airport rail link by 2020, as part of the wider Metro Rail Tunnel project. The government's preferred link would connect to both the Craigieburn and Sunbury lines.[14] On 13 April 2014, Premier Napthine promised the rail link would be built as a new spur line from the Albion–Jacana railway line, with details to be outlined in the State Government's May 2014 budget.[15][16]

Albion–Jacana line

Craigieburn line

A proposal made by Metro Trains CEO Andrew Lezala has been for an electrification of the Craigieburn line to Wallan.[18]

Upfield line

  • 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.[4]

North-eastern suburbs

Diagram showing Melbourne's rail network, including former and planned lines

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,[21] then to Bulleen Road, Bulleen, where it would travel between houses and proposed tunnels to Doncaster East.[1]

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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]

South Morang line

  • Proposals to extend rail services to Mernda.[4] With the change of government in 2014, extension of the railway to Mernda is now being actively designed, with the intent to open the railway within the next two terms of government.
  • A second South Morang railway line extension being considered is to the developing Aurora Estate. It may branch off at Lalor, and pass Epping Plaza and Epping North.[24] The State Government's "Secure Reservations for Major Transport Corridors Project" has resulted in the alignment for this link being protected.[25]

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.[26]
  • 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.[27]

Eastern suburbs

Lilydale line


  • 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.[31] The Greens proposed that Stud Park shopping centre be the terminus for the line.[4] The proposal is supported by Monash University[32] and activist group the Coalition for People's Transport[33]
  • A second option to serve the Rowville area is an extension of the Glen Waverley Line to Rowville via Wantirna South.[31]

The 2012 Rowville Rail Study line suggested:[34]

  • 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%

Proposals for a Rowville line have been investigated by the Baillieu-Napthine Victorian Governments through the Rowville Rail Feasibility Study, with preparations for the confirmation of an alignment currently underway.[35]

Alamein line

South-eastern suburbs

Frankston and Stony Point line

  • Beaumaris railway line, a 1954 proposal by the Melbourne Metropolitain Board of Works, which consisted of a branch line from Moorabbin to Beaumaris. There were 4 stations proposed, including stations at Bay Road and Cheltenham Road.[37] The proposal was rejected by government despite a petition from over 3,000 local residents. [5][38]
  • The same 1954 report included an option for running directly south from Frankston, through Mount Eliza as a faster route to Mornington than the existing line via Baxter.[6][39]
  • Extending the Frankston line to Hastings or Baxter by electrifying part of the Stony Point line, the terminus varying by the proposal.[29][40]
  • Building a station between Highett and Cheltenham on the Frankston line to serve the Westfield Southland shopping centre.[41] 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.[42]

Pakenham and Cranbourne line

  • Re-opening the General Motors Station, which was closed in July 2002. Both platforms and the footbridge above the station remain but will require repairs and resurfacing (if not wholesale replacement), while the building and other fixtures will have to demolished and new facilities will need to be built. Possible new names for the station include Dandenong South, Doveton or Eumemmerring.
  • Proposals have been made for an extension to Clyde, with a station at Cranbourne East, corresponding to new urban growth in the area. According to a Public Transport Victoria report released in April 2013, project commencement was estimated to be at least two decades away.[43]

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.[44]
    • 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.[44]
    • 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.[44]
    • 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.[45]
  • In the 1970 Tewksbury Symposium, a group of Melbourne University academics proposed a "by-pass" line from the Glen Waverley 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.[46]

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.

Infrastructure constructed for future projects, not used


Western and Southwestern suburbs

Werribee and Williamstown lines

  • Bridge abutments constructed, west side Footscray to Newport both exclusive, provision for third track - provided approx. 1960
  • Provision was made for two side platforms just northeast of what later became Williams Landing station; this provision was removed during the Williams Landing station project.
  • Derrimut Rd rail overbridge, between Hoppers Crossing and Werribee, is designed for future addition of an island platform.

Sunbury and Melton lines

  • Bridge abutments constructed on south side of Tottenham station (Ashley St), provision for third track - demolished approx. 2012 to make way for two additional tracks as part of the Regional Rail Link project.
  • Anderson Road rail-under-road bridge section Sunshine to Ardeer - space for two additional tracks south side of alignment, with space under bridge cleared and ready, but dirt either side needs to be removed.
  • Sunbury project overhead wire gantries around Calder Park are wider, to make way for future station.

Craigieburn and Upfield lines

  • Bridge over Western Ring Road in 1993, constructed with room for two tracks but presently only one side used.
  • Alignment provided for platform three at Craigieburn during electrification project 2006.

North-eastern suburbs

Doncaster line

  • Cutting built down centre of Eastern Freeway in 1975, starting from Victoria Park station. Filled in shortly after. No concrete, just dirt.
  • Some bridges Jolimont to Clifton Hill are built with abutments for a third track; Victoria Park's third track is used as a siding.

Hurtsbridge line

Some provision is made for duplication in sections Heidelberg - Rosanna and Greensborough - Eltham, with some bridges and other earthworks completed.

Eastern suburbs

Ringwood, Lilydale and Belgrave lines

  • Bridge abutments constructed, south side Burnley to Camberwell both exclusive, provision for fourth track - provided approx. 1920
  • Box Hill platform 1 - was used for short while during construction in 1983, since left unused but available for future fourth track.
  • Middleborough Road bridge and through Laburnam station - outside tracks laid, alignment designed with room for third track down the middle
  • Nunawading may have provision for a third track on the south side of the new alignment, though it is not clear.
  • Bridge over Eastlink, between Heatherdale and Ringwood, is designed for additional tracks both north and south sides, though some changes to overhead gantry supports would need to be made for the south alignment.

Alamein and Glen Waverley lines

  • Overhead wires Ashburton (now Alamein) to Eastmalvern may be designed with intent to match the c1940 Ashworth plan to run double track between those two points.

South-eastern suburbs

Frankston and Stony Point line

  • Triplication project Caulfield to Mordialloc was started/stopped a few times; result third track to Moorabbin in service, third track alignment west side under Dane Rd bridge and space provided for third track through Wickham Rd roundabout (up line is centred, down line offset east, therefore room for new line west side), and a handful of overhead gantries - perhaps a third - are spaced to allow for the future third track.
  • Down side Frankston, provision for second track on inside of curve between Frankston and Leawarra under three road bridges.

Pakenham and Cranbourne line

  • North Road bridge over line just southeast of Huntingdale station, has provision for additional third track.
  • Westall when rebuilt in 2009, included provision to turn current Platform 1 into an island, adding effectively a "Platform Zero".
  • Rail bridge over Callaghan Street subway has room for third track on north side
  • Merinda Park station built 1995 as part of Cranbourne electrification project; south side provision for second platform, allowing crossing loop or full duplication.

non-electrified Victorian routes

  • Shelbourne to Laanecoorie extension - some trestle bridges completed
  • Nowingi to Millewa South branch
  • Robinvale to Lette branch
  • Level crossings Dunolly to Mildura - when rebuilt, included third rail to make for easy conversion to standard gauge at a later date, i.e. as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project.
  • Regional Rail Link at Tarniet (two island platforms, only middle tracks used at this stage); Wyndham Vale (two side platforms in use, room for additional platforms east side); Wyndham Vale south track is set out for two island platforms. Blackforest Rd and Greens Rd bridges are also designed for four tracks.
  • Standard gauge line slews west between Lara and Little River stations, at Peak School Rd level crossing. Likely provision for two side platforms.


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  2. ^ "Vicsig - Destination Rolls". Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  3. ^ a b "The Victorian Transport Plan" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "The People Plan Discussion Paper" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  5. ^ "Underground revolution - $2bn secret railway plan". The Age (Melbourne). 28 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  6. ^ Moynihan, Stephen (16 August 2007). "New rail tunnel proposal gains momentum". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-09-30. 
  7. ^ Melbourne Future Transport Options, Final Report: Professor Graham Currie, Institute of Transport Studies, Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University
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  9. ^ Metlink Journey Planner, Origin: 19-Brunswick Rd/Sydney Rd, Destination: 20-Domain Interchange/St Kilda Rd
  10. ^
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  12. ^ "STRONG SUPPORT FOR AIRPORT TRANSIT LINK". DoI media release. 6 April 2001. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ ""Melbourne Airport railway line gets go-ahead"". Australian Business Traveler. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  16. ^ ""Premier Denis Napthine promises Melbourne airport rail link"". The Age. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Route chosen for Melbourne airport link". Perth Now. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
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  19. ^ Coburg Historical Society Newsletter, No 49, June 1997
  20. ^ Greening Melbourne with Public Transport, Public Transport Users Association, 1991
  21. ^ a b Stephen Cauchi (February 1998). "Whatever Happened to the Proposed Railway to Doncaster East". Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): page 41–42. 
  22. ^ Moynihan, Stephen (18 October 2006). "Rail line would replace 10,000 cars". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
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  24. ^ "Waiting for the train that never came". The Age (Melbourne). 24 October 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  25. ^ BOOSTING MELBOURNE’S RAIL NETWORK' - March 2006"'" (PDF). MEETING OUR TRANSPORT CHALLENGES. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2006. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ HAVE YOUR SAY: New station on track for Eltham if Libs win poll
  28. ^ Yarra Ranges Council: Lilydale-Healesville 08-11-06 incorporating new trail costs report
  29. ^ a b c C L Fouvy. "The Melbourne region's opportunity and need for rapid transit" (PDF). Railway Technical Society of Australasia. Retrieved 2008-07-18. 
  30. ^ Public Transport Users Association - Time to Move (2002)
  31. ^ a b "Knox City Council - Rowville Rail Study - 2004" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ [7]
  35. ^
  36. ^ Millar, Royce (22 December 2005). "Chaddy about to get a whole lot bigger". The Age (Melbourne). Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  37. ^ "'"City of Kingston Historical Website - 'Beaumaris Railway Spur. Retrieved 2008-09-15. 
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ Grady, New Jersey (1985). "Electrification - Overhead Line Equipment for the Year 2050". Conference on Railway Engineering 1985
  41. ^ "'"City of Kingston Historical Website - 'Railway Station at Bay Road. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  42. ^ [8], additional text.
  43. ^
  44. ^ a b c 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.
  45. ^ 1954 Planning Scheme, Melbourne Board of Works
  46. ^ 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.
  47. ^

See also

External links

  • 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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