Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail   Click to enlarge


Light Rail to Doncaster Double click to enlarge

Light Rail to Doncaster
Double click to enlarge

The Victorian Transport Action Group (VTAG), an independent forum of transport experts from various disciplines, shares a vision of a highly mobile Melbourne with an increased population being effectively and sustainably serviced by a versatile, strategically expanded public transport network. In this paper VTAG proposes Route 100 as a solution for the car dependent and congested North-Eastern suburbs. Route 100 is a Light Rail Transit (LRT) service for the Doncaster Corridor which connects into the tram network in Fitzroy.  Melbourne faces crippling and costly congestion, due in part to the transport and land use planning failures of past decades. However, Melbourne, like other world cities can grasp the future and lay out a network that will reduce the congestion and enhance the mobility for and liveability of its residents; and Melbourne has one significant strategic advantage; it has the tramway foundation already in place.                                                      Route 100 Light Rail – Doncaster Hill to inner City by VTAG FINAL 25th May

State Government  had made it clear to Manningham Council that Buses would be the one and only transport

solution for Doncaster Hill and its surrounding growth sectors. So it was left to Manningham to head off the the public demand for heavy rail as best they could which they were able to do when the government commissioned another rail study which found it would be possible to extend a railway to the Doncaster/Greythorn Park and Ride, but not to Doncaster Hill. However the price tag of $11 Billion, which included the cost of diverting another line and a timeline of nearly 20 years, was tantamount to ruling it out altogether.

The attempt to quell the public demand for an extension of the tram 48 from North Balwyn has proved ineffective. They employed a consultant who found that a tram service would not be practical and the gradient of Doncaster Road would prevent Disability friendly stops which was later challenged by experts. Council’s own satellite data showed only a small section of Doncaster Road had a gradient of 5.2%. Below is a newspaper report...thank you Beverley

Transport Experts Challenge Study Click to enlarge

Transport Experts Challenge Study
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Riversdale Road East of Warrigal 7% gradient

 Riversdale Road East of  Warrigal  Rd has 7% gradients                                               Click to enlarge








GHD Council Consultant Click to enlarge

GHD Council Consultant
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Council Agenda August 2009 re Tram   Forwarded by Charles


  1. Friend of Doncaster says:

    I congratulate the author of this proposal for a light rail service, it is both feasible and affordable. For a fraction of the cost of heavy rail we could have light rail to the city via the freeway, Fitzroy and to the city via North Balwyn on route 48, at our door step.
    The council’s futile heavy rail promotion, which only goes as far as Doncaster Park and Ride, that Manningham council is currently conducting, is a bit like a PONZI scheme with the victims being foreign buyers. Although locals are no longer sucked in by it, it is the overseas apartments purchasers who are being conned into believing a rail service to Doncaster is affordable, cost effective and would be built. The whammy for them will be when they go to resell their apartments they will incur heavy losses because Manningham has a second grade public transportation and there is no employment or infrastructure here. In one apartment building close to Westfield, where disgruntled owners are reselling and incurring heavy losses, there is an average of 30 apartments for sale at any one time.
    Friend of Doncaster

    1. john says:

      “owners selling at a loss and 30 apartments for sale at any given time”? that is quite odd seeing that the new developments are selling large numbers at their first releases and only recently two sold for over $2 million each. Also, more development sites have sold for high prices so I just do not understand your original comment.

      1. Deedoubleu says:

        John, The local market is not driving the current boom in apartment sales, they are being sold to foreign investors at higher prices solely through overseas intermediaries. Under the conditions of the FIRB they can only buy new properties or by “off the plan”. They are not eligible to purchase already owned properties such as in the Pinnacle development built 5 years ago. It is when the the foreign apartment buyers go to sell that they will realise there is a mismatch between their value on local market and the price they paid through foreign agents.

    2. john says:

      and going by what residential properties are selling for lately it does not show a sign of owners leaving in droves at a loss. Long time resident here and I know from experience that catching a bus a few metres from my home to Box Hill station is much better than driving to a station to use a train and have done that for a long time with very little effort. I thought the idea was to get people out of cars so my point is quite valid. The state govt. should also look into decentralising employment and stop the city centric thing sooner rather than later because the current plans are just not working.

  2. Anonyme says:

    After having the consultants not recommend tram Route 48 be extended, Manningham council have now agreed it should be considered. This would help justify light rail being continued on to Doncaster Hill and beyond. It should also be noted that Doncaster Road is 10 metres wider east of Park and Ride than it is west to North Balwyn which would help accommodate a greater traffic load.

    “An extension of the route 48 tram (Balwyn North) from the current terminus at Balwyn and Doncaster Road to the Doncaster Park & Ride should be considered. Manningham Council suggests that the Final Recommendations Report should investigate the impact and importance of providing a connection between route 48 to the Doncaster Park & Ride and recommend that the route 48 tram is extended to cater for this purpose. This will provide an integrated connection between the two modes of transport, maximising accessibility between the Doncaster Rail line, and destinations in Balwyn North, Kew, Hawthorn and Richmond, achieving accessibility outcomes identified in the Local Access options.
    It appears that the modelling undertaken by URS and associated consultants, did not take into consideration a direct link between tram route 48 and the Doncaster Park and Ride appears to be modelled as conditions currently exist”.

  3. Charles says:

    Doncaster Road is far more suitable for a Tram extension than the additions to Whitehorse Road, Box Hill or Riversdale Road, Wattle Park lines. If you look at the Tram stops in your Riversdale Road photograph above, marked on the roadway with a large yellow cross, you will see that they are located halfway up a 7% gradient! I have attached the Manningham Council Agenda which has the Consultant’s study attached. Based on the council’s consultant’s recommendations, the balance of the $80,000 required to complete phase 2 of the feasibility study was never provided. Prior to selection of a consultant for the Tram study, a community group who had been campaigning for Tramline to Doncaster for several years, and a number of councillors, asked Manningham council to engage the same consultant associated with the successful bidder to construct the recently completed extension along Whitehorse Road, Tram 109, to Box Hill, but council officers declined.

  4. Julip says:

    Despite all the increased rate revenue and the money they are receiving from the developer contribution scheme, Manningham council, according to the leader newspaper, still wants to lobby state government for $130,000 for yet another traffic study. This is an example of where we’re at in regard to the lack of funding available for infrastructure. What hope have we got for a decent public transport system.

    1. Synstrat says:

      Why can’t the traffic study be commenced immediately, council must surely have the funds available, instead of having to go through the process of lobbying state government for $130,000. Then we have the condescending statement from the CEO Mr Carbone in the leader newspaper. “In the meantime investigations were underway improving the accessibility of walking and cycling and catching buses”.
      Doncaster Road is a becoming a barrier for pedestrians, particularly from the south east. The incorporation of a grade separated pedestrian crossing as per the Doncaster Hill Strategy is required urgently but construction of pedestrian overpass would have to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) which requires low gradient ramps. This is unlikely to be achievable at these locations because of the narrow road reserves which would make lead up entries, either side of Doncaster Road, too steep. There would be even more problems with an underpass.

  5. Cargi says:

    Manningham Council has its own traffic engineers so why would it need yet another outside consultant? The truth is they knew from the very beginning that Doncaster Road would return to the same level of traffic volumes it was experiencing before the Eastern Freeway Extension. The leader article states council wants an increase in pedal and foot power. The area’s streets are too steep for walking and it is too dangerous riding in Bus lanes or on footpaths.

  6. Jardineer says:

    NORTH Balwyn’s 48 tram should be extended to Doncaster whether or not a new rail line is built. Boroondara councillor Jack Wegman, who was Mayor back in 2012, had vowed to renew a battle with the state government to take the tram to the bus interchange at Doncaster Hill.
    “The point at which it terminates [High Street and Balwyn Road] is a long-standing issue,” Cr Wegman said. “It should be extended whether or not the railway is built. It has been on the drawing board for as long as I have been on council – 11 years. Yet it has met the same fate during this and previous governments.”

  7. Mardine says:

    The difficulty for the supporters of a light rail extension from North Balwyn to Doncaster Hill and to the city via the freeway, is that state government has no money. At a cost of approximately $1.5 Billion, including rolling stock, it is just a fraction of the cost of constructing heavy rail which would only go as far as Doncaster Park and Ride. The light rail project could start immediately and could be completed within three years if funds were made available. The truth is that government have already decided they would only provide buses for Manningham’s public transport system, but in order to pacify residents they conduct studies every now and then to keep the prospect of a heavy rail alive despite the fact that, like all the previous proposals before it, over the past 100 years, cannot be justified on a cost effective basis

  8. Talford says:

    A heavy rail to Doncaster will never occur nor will there ever be a light rail service. There will still be more rail and Tram studies of course but at the end of the day we will be stuck with Buses only.

  9. Dalray says:

    Trams run smoothly and predictably along steel rails, with three times the energy-efficiency of buses and without the lurching, swerving and vibration of vehicles that require a series of controlled explosions for movement.

    1. Francis Day says:

      Consistent market research and experience over the last 50 years in Europe and North America shows that car commuters are willing to transfer some trips to rail-based public transport but not to buses. Typically light rail systems attract between 30 and 40% of their patronage from former car trips. Rapid transit bus systems attract less than 5% of trips from cars, less than the variability of traffic. Whether or not these percentages would be repeated if a light rail was introduced in Doncaster is not known but at the very least we would have a permanent connection to the Melbourne tram network.

      1. Peter says:

        Europe is not a great example as there are already extensive tram networks crisscrossing their cities which, it should be noted, are much, much smaller than Melbourne in area – a factor forgotten when making comparisons. A ride on the 48 to the city would take forever.
        A bus on the other hand, using a PROPER dedicated bus lane would be much quicker. Also you are picturing in your minds riding on the current fleet of rubbish buses that we have. Look up the type of buses that are in use in the cities of Europe that do use them and in the UK. They leave ours to absolute shame. Each new double deck bus run by Transdev in London (Yes the same Transdev) costs 300,000 pounds and are state of the art.
        As for the U.S. – well, their buses – that I have seen – are as bad if not worse than ours so no wonder that is the result.

    2. Peter says:

      And electricity is generated by coal fired power stations producing far more toxic gases that the buses?
      And what happened to the natural gas buses that were experimental a few years ago and in common use in places like Brisbane? And what about the possibility of hybrid buses?
      There is also the matter of the gradient up Doncaster Road which exceeds by several times that of the steepest commuter railway in the world.

  10. Gig says:

    Advantages of Trams over Bus-Coaches
    • Unlike buses, but like trolleybuses, (electric) trams give off no exhaust emissions at point of use. Compared to motorbuses the noise of trams is generally perceived to be less disturbing.
    • They can use overhead wire set to be shared with trolleybuses (a three wire system).
    • Trams can adapt to the number of passengers by adding more cars during rush hour (and removing them during off-peak hours). No additional driver is then required for the trip in comparison to buses.
    • In general, trams provide a higher capacity service than buses.
    • Multiple entrances allow trams to load faster than suburban coaches, which tend to have a single entrance. This, combined with swifter acceleration and braking, lets trams maintain higher overall speeds than buses, if congestion allows.
    • The trams’ stops in the street are easily accessible – unlike stations of subways and commuter railways placed underground (with several escalators, stairways etc.) or in the outskirts of the city center.
    • Rights-of-way for trams are narrower than for buses. This saves valuable space in cities with high population densities and/or narrow streets.

    • Passenger comfort is normally superior to buses because of controlled acceleration and braking and curve easement. Rail transport such as used by trams provides a smoother ride than road use by buses.
    • Because the tracks are visible, it is easy for potential riders to know where the routes are.
    • Vehicles run more efficiently and overall operating costs are lower.
    • Trams can run on renewable electricity without the need for very expensive and short life batteries.

  11. Spargo says:

    The eastern freeway is heavily congested in peak periods. If the light rail could be constructed on the centre strip we would not need the buses and their dedicated lanes on both sides could then be used by motor vehicles which would greatly improve traffic flow.

  12. Francis says:

    There will be no second phase of the Doncaster Rail study even if there is a change of government after November 2018.
    The current government regard buses only as the public transport solution for Doncaster Hill and have repeatedly told Manningham to “stop tugging in other directions”. The opposition who first proposed the study did it only as an election campaign ploy so they would be unlikely to go there again. What surprised me is how council could be sucked into believing the politicians and to provide a false hope by going on a spending spree promoting the heavy rail line, when, even if it were proved feasible, it would not occur for at least 15 years, if ever, and would not terminate on Doncaster Hill.
    But a light rail to the city via the freeway and a connection to all Melbourne’s tram routes by extending the North Balwyn to Doncaster Hill could solve all our transport problems.

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