Wasted Funds on Rail Advertisment

This letter was sent into the Manningham CEO Joe this week; if there really is no hope for a train in Doncaster, why are we spending money on it… what do they hope to achieve?


Spending $ 4,600 dollars this week on a full page advertisement “to keep our community’s hearts and minds focused on a rail service” seems a terrible waste of municipal funds considering any new rail line would not be possible for decades. A Rail line to West Doncaster Park & Ride will be a generation away let alone any possibility of a Billion Dollar railway tunnel up to Doncaster Hill. The reality is, apart for the printing of brochures and conducting studies etc., the State has no money.


Mary Wooldridge has confirmed that phase one of the Draft Recommendations report found there is no capacity in the current network to accommodate any additional lines to service the transport starved areas such as Rowville, Wyndham, Baxter, Melbourne Airport and the West Doncaster Park & Ride, until the Melbourne Metropolitan Project (MMP) is completed which could be decades away if the current schedule for its funding is any indication.


The Planning Minister Mr Mulder, told the Age newspaper; “some of the correspondence was so fanciful it might as well have had a dozen tattslotto tickets attached to it”. The first instalment of Two Billion Dollars, towards the estimated total cost of Eleven to Twelve Billion Dollars, will not be available till sometime after 2019. Even the PLANMELBOURNE document (available online), equally vague,  indicates the “planned and potential” rail lines will not occur before the medium to long term (2025-2050).

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/metro-rail-tunnel-faces-a-long-wait-for-money-20130515-2jmtw.html#ixzz2lno2RAjc


The government statement this week, announcing additional dedicated bus lanes in the CBD and expanded bus services for Doncaster Hill reinforces the notion that the State Government has always favoured a bus solution for Doncaster Hill. Manningham council had been told they will gain nothing by “perversely tugging in other directions” A railway station on Doncaster Hill was not included in the terms of reference in any previous studies.

See comments attached to ” Doncaster Rail an Ode to Inaction” and “No Gain Without Train” 



Bel Harris


  1. Patrick says:


    The Leader advertisement says that council is still waiting on the release of Phase one of State Government’s Recommendations Report on Doncaster Rail Study. However, according to the above link of the draft version, released in May of last year, a Doncaster Hill railway station was not supported because of the high cost of tunnelling under the steep gradient, (estimated at one billion dollars), and its limited additional patronage. Instead it has recommended the current DART bus services be reconfigured to feed a possible station at Doncaster Park and Ride. This was consistent with the terms of reference given to the independent engineering firm URS, (phone 92055733) for an earlier study that did not include a railway to Doncaster Hill.
    What is clear from the Phase One Draft Recommendations Report is that there is limited capacity in the current network to take any additional lines until the Melbourne Metro Project is completed, which might not be finished before 2050.


  2. Doris Tran says:

    The opposition accused the government of trying to delay the project while it concentrates on the east-west toll road after the Premier Napthine announced today that government is now considering major changes to the MMP because; “it’s construction could close the centre of the city down for as long as two years and the project could divide the city just like the Berlin wall, it could be a disaster during construction causing a two year shut down of Flinders Street Station with a massive hole in the centre of the city” he said.

    According to Mayor Doyle there are two options; “Employing a shallow channel using a cut and cover method which would cause the two year disruption of Swanston Street or a deep more expensive but a less disruptive tunnel”. .

    The government is also considering another option for a 9 kilometer tunnel from South Kensington, under Swanston Street via Parkville, two stations in the CBD, then on to South Yarra station via Domain as well as another to fisherman’s bend.

    How could such a carefully planned project be suddenly under review. I dare say there will be another round of feasibility studies and tests, public consultation and calling for tenders etc which could delay the project indefinitely.. .

    Does anyone know what a two track railway tunnel would cost per KM?. Of course there are variables, but I am informed it can cost up to ten times that of a conventional above ground railway.

    The question is why are they now producing these problems? Is it a manoeuvre to stall the MMP as long as possible and have it shelved due to the increased cost and lack of funds?
    Was it a coincidence that the Premier’s comments should follow a statement, in the previous week, announcing an expanded bus service to Doncaster and dedicated bus lanes both sides of Hoddle and Victoria Streets resulting in an estimated eight minute reduction in travelling time from Doncaster to the city?
    Doris Tran

  3. Finlayson says:

    I think the Napthine press release, to increase bus numbers to Doncaster, will be the forerunner to the eventual abandonment of the proposed Doncaster railway, especially after announcing there would be dedicated bus lanes along the entire Doncaster to City route. This would cut the travelling time by approximately 8 minutes, making it just as fast as the rail proposal, especially for commuters who could alight at one of the various stops within the CBD before the bus reaches its terminal opposite Spencer Street Station in Lonsdale Street.

    According to Phase One of the Draft recommendations the only viable option would be a railway station at the Doncaster Park and Ride to be linked to the city via the freeway. This is by far the cheapest option because it would avoid tunnelling, however the line could only service two stations, Bulleen and Kew before it joins the Hurstbridge line at Collingwood. It is hard to justify, in terms of patronage, with only the two railway stations along the 11.3 KM route to Collingwood station.

    This latest study is one of ten that have been conducted including 1890, 1920, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2012. Unfortunately most of them have been the result of election campaign promises.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *