Melbourne Metro System

Fig. 01: My own schematic map showing just one possible scenario for the Melbourne Metro System. The Sunshine - Dandenong Metro (Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel) is currently under construction. There have been numerous feasibility studies into a rapid rail link to Doncaster, Rowville and Melbourne Airport. Here I have included the Rail Futures Institute advocacy groups' endorsement for a Airport Rail Link to be separated from the metropolitan network and as a stand alone project incorporated into the Regional Rail network. Other regional rail lines are not included here. My scenario is not a "fantasy metro", but one which is realizable with all information extrapolated through close observation to current studies, topographical map data and a basic knowledge of railway engineering (ref: Vukan R. Vuchic - Urban Transit). Obviously this scenario of mine would require decades of development towards being envisaged.

The Doncaster Hill / Mernda Metro

In response to the 2014 Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Draft Recommendations Report I would like to present a number of scenarios based on my own research as a public transport advocate and one who has a basic knowledge of rail engineering.

The final Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Recommendations Report was released on 28 October 2014. This was for any future rail line to be built after 2026 to run only as far as the Doncaster Park and Ride facility along the Eastern Freeway and for the line to be networked into the existing Clifton Hill group in the vicinity of Collingwood Stn after using the freeway median.  

There had been considerable time and money spent on this report, but it was greatly overshadowed by the then proposed East West Link motorway, which was later scrapped by the Andrews Labour government coming to office a short time later. Although this study did indeed look at three different options for a rail alignment from the City out to Doncaster it lacked good investigation and scope for other options viable options that the public may have embraced. One of which I would like to discuss in greater detail in my scenario below. This would be for a new rail group to be created through the proposed decoupling of the South Morang Line and to group it up with the proposed Doncaster Line as a means to both value capture the high infrastructural expenditure and also importantly increase passenger attraction to the project. Nonetheless to this day the freeway median is still in tact, but without a rail link to Doncaster, best illustrated in Michael Leunig's above drawing.

The Chandler Multimodal Transport Corridor - LRT Option

Scenario for the Chandler Multimodal Transport Corridor where a new 23m wide 4 lanes only road bridge can be constructed east of the existing iron truss bridge – originally built for the Outer Circle Rail Line. Here it would be possible to separate road traffic from a new ROW LRT (light rail transit) line commencing from the existing Yarra Trams network at Kew Junction and terminating at Fairfield Stn via the proposed Alphington Park redevelopment in its first phase. Cyclist would have the option for 1.5m northbound and southbound lanes on the arterial as well as a safe shared pathway with pedestrians on a refurbished cantilevered path attached to the west side of the existing iron truss bridge – Sunset Pathway. Here road transport, high capacity public transport integration, the built and environmental heritage are all taken into account for amenity improvement for the Melbourne inter regional Cities of Darebin, Yarra and Boroondara.

Melbourne Metro System: The Peninsula Loop Metro

Peninsula Loop Metro

The scenario below is for a Mandurah style (Transperth) Rapid Rail link for Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula. To my knowledge there has never been any feasibility study for such a line. This said historically passenger services run from Frankston to Mornington from 1889 to 1981. It is surprising also that there is no advocacy for such a rail line, especially after all the controversy with the recently completed Peninsular Link motorway and for the fact that public transport on the developed Port Phillip Bay side of the peninsula is so poor in service provided. With the transition being made over the past two or more decades from mostly holiday residences to permanent dwellings and commuter population there seems the need even more to look into a rail transit system for this region. As development historically is mostly linear and that the new Peninsular Link motorway has a wide enough median alignment for certainly a bidirectional rapid rail link from Frankston to Sorrento. It would be required for tunnelling in places.

Fig. 01: Schematic map of the envisaged Melbourne Metro System with a Peninsula Loop Metro extension of the existing Frankston Line, currently being upgraded to Metro operations with the grade separation of level crossings.