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Sandringham railway line


Sandringham railway line

Sandringham railway line, Melbourne
Sandringham line map
Line details
Commenced 1857
Completed 1859
Tracks Double track
Used by Metro Trains Melbourne
Service pattern Stopping all stations
Rolling stock Comeng, Siemens
Former connections St Kilda - Windsor, Rosstown Railway
Railways in Melbourne

The Sandringham railway line is a suburban railway line in Melbourne, Australia. It branches from other southeastern lines (Caulfield group) at South Yarra station. It serves the City of Bayside, and small sections cover the Cities of Glen Eira, Port Phillip, Stonnington, and Yarra. Various sections of the track opened between 1857 and 1859, and in May 1919, the whole line was electrified.


  • Infrastructure 1
  • Services and patronage 2
  • History 3
  • Service changes 4
  • Line guide 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The line is double track throughout, although it runs alongside the Frankston and Pakenham lines from Melbourne to South Yarra, making a total of six tracks in this section.

The speed limit is 70 km/h (43 mph) between South Yarra and Sandringham, and the line has a total of 11 level crossings between South Yarra and Sandringham. Much of the line, however, is either in cuttings or on embankments, and there are many more bridges over or under roads. Terminating facilities are provided at Elsternwick and Brighton Beach, however passenger services may terminate at Middle Brighton to use turnback facilities at Brighton Beach in an event of a disruption. Stabling facilities are provided at Brighton Beach and Sandringham. Brighton Beach had not been used for stabling for many years, however the stabling facilities were reinstated in 2010 after being used for the VICERS project.

Power signalling is provided throughout, it being the first line in Victoria to be so equipped, as well as the first (along with part of the Craigieburn line) to have a regular electric service.

Services and patronage

The Sandringham line runs at 7-8 minute frequencies in the weekday morning peak period and in the evening peak period. Off-peak frequencies run every 15 minutes between 9am-3pm and 6.30pm-9pm and every 10 minutes between 3-5pm. After 9pm and all day on weekends, trains run every 20 minutes up until last service. This does not include Sunday mornings when trains run every 40 minutes until 9.30am. Most services stop at all stations, however there is one scheduled limited express to the city in the afternoon peak running express from Elsternwick to South Yarra.[1]

It is the only line in Melbourne to operate on a 20-minute frequency at night, and does so seven days a week. This compares to 30-minute frequencies on other lines. It was also the first to provide a 15-minute frequency between weekday peak periods. These frequencies are not due to it having greater use, but from an experiment in 1992 in increasing frequencies to see if that attracts additional patronage, this being possible on the Sandringham line without using extra trains by reducing layover time at the ends of the journeys.

Frequencies, this time in peak periods, were further improved a few years later, as compensation for withdrawal of the Sandringham services from the City Loop. The Cain Labor government in the 1980s proposed rebuilding the line as a light rail line, but since then patronage has grown considerably and even with the 8-minute peak-period frequency, trains are heavily loaded.


The Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company opened their line from Princes Bridge (later amalgamated with Flinders Street station) to a temporary station on Punt Road in February 1859, then to Cremorne (now closed) in December of that year.

A few days later, the St Kilda and Brighton Railway Company (St. K. & B. R. C.) opened their railway line from St Kilda to Bay Street (now North Brighton) in December 1859. Twelve months after that, the Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company extended their line from Cremorne to Chapel Street (now Windsor) station, on the St. K. & B. R. C.'s line, providing a second route to the city from the Brighton line. The following year, again in December, the St. K. & B. R. C. extended their line to Beach (now Brighton Beach).

The link between St Kilda and Windsor, disused since 1862, was dismantled in 1867, although part of it at the Windsor end was used as a siding for some time afterwards.

In 1865, the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay Railway Company, who owned the St Kilda line, purchased the Melbourne Suburban Railway Company and became the Melbourne and Hobson's Bay United Railway Company, and subsequently bought the St. K. & B. R. C., which was in financial difficulties, for £99,500. The Victorian Government acquired the United railway company in July 1878.

In September 1887, the Brighton line was extend to Sandringham.

The Sandringham line became the first line in Victoria to be provided with automatic signals, with the line as far as Elsternwick converted in stages from 1915 to 1918. Then in 1919, the Sandringham line became, with the line to Essendon, the first line in the country to be electrified (apart from a test installation on the Flemington Racecourse line). Automatic signalling was provided the rest of the way to Sandringham in two stages in 1926.

Service changes

Services on the line originally ran via the St Kilda line, but from 1862 ran exclusively via the Cremorne route. In 1894, through services from Brighton Beach to Essendon were introduced, an arrangement that continued until 1973, when Sandringham services were altered to run through to the St Kilda and Port Melbourne lines.

When the underground City Loop line was designed, it was not intended to cater for trains on the Port Melbourne, St Kilda, and Sandringham lines. However, a crossover was installed near Richmond to allow Sandringham trains to cross to the tracks used by the Frankston and Pakenham trains, which had access to the underground loop. In 1985, two Sandringham trains each way were altered to run via the underground loop, and in 1987, with the Port Melbourne and St Kilda lines now converted to light rail operation, all off-peak and many peak trains were routed via the underground loop.

However, congestion caused by merging with the Frankston and Pakenham services resulted in a number of changes to Sandringham trains operating via the underground loop, and today only weekend services run that way. Some weekday peak services are through-routed with Williamstown line services.

Line guide

Bold stations are termini, where some train services terminate; italic stations are staffed; and stations with an asterisk (*) are manned only during morning peak.

Branches from the Cranbourne, Frankston & Pakenham lines at South Yarra.


  1. ^
  • St Kilda to Windsor Loop Line 1859 - 1865

External links

  • Timetables
  • Official line map
  • Network map
  • Statistics and detailed schematic map at the VicSig enthusiast website
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