The state government funding program for the maintenance of existing rail infrastructure and building the MMP tunnel and its proposed extensions, such as the lines to West Doncaster and Melbourne Airport, “is so fanciful that it may as well have had a dozen tatts lotto tickets attached to it”…analogy by previous transport minister Terrence Mulder
Age Newspaper Article Declining Infrastructure Click to Enlarge

Age  article  on Infrastructure
Double Click to Enlarge

The Victorian state government could need Billions to fund overdue maintenance of its existing railway infrastructure without taking into account the $11 Billion required for the construction of the Melbourne Metropolitan Project and the $11 Billion rail line to West Doncaster/ Greythorn Park and Ride. The State government had pledged only $300 Million followed by a further $1.5 Billion to be allocated in this year’s state budget. The Federal government had promised a further $2 Billion towards the MMP but have not indicated when it would be made available except to say that it would be sometime after 2019– one year after the next state election.

Phase One of the $6.5 Million Rail study report given to the Victorian Government in February 2014 estimated the cost of a line from Clifton Hill to the Doncaster Park-And-Ride at

Declining System

Declining System

up to $11Billion which included the cost of between $3 – $5 billion for the rail to Doncaster plus the uncoupling and diverting the South Morang line, to allow sufficient capacity for additional lines, which was costed at around $4 to $6 Million.

The report predicted that an average weekday patronage of up to 56,000 passengers by 2031 with 98% of its passengers coming from existing public transport such as the city express bus service and by Box Hill to city railway. The report found that any benefit of removing the freeway dedicated bus lanes would be negated by increased traffic.

Francis wrote;

“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 so easily sucked into believing the politicians and then to provide a false hope to residents and investors 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 where it is most needed”.

“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?.







  1. Gray says:

    I don’t know why Manningham executive are continuing to promote it when it has already been decided that phase 2 of Doncaster Rail study will not go ahead. The first phase of the study was only conducted to fulfil an promise made by the local member Mary Wooldridge in her election campaign. It has been a complete waste of money because the reasons given for not proceeding in first phase of the rail study were known beforehand. We already have the buses which are express to Hoddle street which would be faster than a train. They are not going to spend $11 Billion, which includes diverting another rail line, just to cater for city commuters from Doncaster Park and Ride. They had suggested two other railway stations in the 12 Km distance to Collingwood at Bulleen and Chandler in the centre of the freeway. Both would be walk up facilities which means they would need park and ride areas requiring the acquisition of land close by.

  2. Sam says:

    A heavy rail to Doncaster Park and Ride, just for City commuters, could not be justified even if funding was available. A light rail extension to Doncaster Hill from North Balwyn is at least affordable and would connect Doncaster Hill to inner Melbourne suburbs.

  3. Synstrat says:

    We fell in love with the car in the 50’s and designed freeways to suit, now since they have become clogged the romance has soured we want to embrace rail. Trouble is the maintenance of our railway network has been so neglected overtime that we will need billions to fix the existing infrastructure before we can extend it.
    Manningham’s mode shift travel plan is unlikely to succeed when the population is so addicted to car travel, as some suggest, so it seems important to be clear about whether we are discussing lack of choice or whether the stubborn refusal to make better choices will prevail even if and when offered real alternatives such as fixed rail. The area is not suitable for walking and cycling is difficult because of its topography and there are no dedicated lanes for riders.

Leave a Reply

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