According to Wikipedia, detailed planning of the long awaited Doncaster rail line, first proposed in 1890, began in 1969 and by 1972 a route from Victoria Park Station to Blackburn Road, East Doncaster was decided. 
Rail Cutting at Vic Park Click to enlarge

Rail Cutting at Vic Park
Click to enlarge

Property acquisition for part of the route was completed in 1975 and the excavation of a cutting north of Victoria Park station had already commenced in 1974, only to be filled in two years later. By 1982 plans to build the line were shelved by the state government, and by 1984 land for the line once it left the freeway was sold. In 1991 an independent report investigated constructing the line, recommending against it due to the high cost. The most recent plan to build a railway line along the Eastern Freeway to Doncaster Park and Ride appears likely to meet the same fate as the proposal before it. Melways 1979 maps showing route of proposed railway from Victoria Park station to Blackburn Road is on next page.


Kew Golf Club Click to enlarge

Kew Golf Club
Click to enlarge

Future Koonung Station Click to enlarge

Future Koonung Station
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Freeway to M'ham Rd Click to Enlarge

Freeway to Manningham Rd
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The proposed railway was to branch just north of Victoria Park station and run along the Eastern Freeway before leaving it at Estelle Street, Bulleen. The 1979 Melway street directory indicates the rail line in pink with broken lines depicting tunnels as it proceeds towards Manningham Road and Macedon Square then on to Williamsons Road where a railway station at King Street was proposed. The line would then terminate at a railway station planned just before Blackburn Road, East Doncaster.

Manningham Road To Williamsons Road . Click to Enlarge

M’ham Rd to Williamsons Rd
Click to Enlarge

King Street Station Click to Enlarge

King Street Station
Click to Enlarge

Blackburn Rd Station Click to enlarge

Blackburn Rd Station
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The proposed rail line extends up to Blackburn Road which indicates there might have been an option for the line to continue through to Donvale and beyond.

The King Street and Blackburn Road line would cost far more today, than the $11 billion required to finance the Park and Ride proposal due to the number of tunnels required and the same additional cost of deviating an existing rail line.

Despite the huge costs involved neither plan included a railway station on Doncaster Hill.

One councillor who wished to remain anonymous was not optimistic; “I don’t think anyone is taking the prospect of rail seriously. Like it or not we will have to accept that buses will be the only transport option for Doncaster residents. If a railway station cannot be located on Doncaster Hill then it is a waste of time talking about it. Currently it is being used by politicians as a political football”.






  1. Spearmint says:

    Margaret Thatcher is alleged to have said; “A man, who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure” unless of course he lives on Doncaster Hill where there is no alternative transport.

  2. Daniel says:

    Doncaster rail would be a challenge in that most of its catchment would need to use a car or bus to access the train line, especially if a train line could possibly terminate on Doncaster Hill, which, being a principal activity centre, there would be little room for park and ride, and commuter parking is probably the last sort of inactive land use you want in a major activity centre anyway.

  3. Waterman says:

    Approximately 500 meters west of where the planned railway leaves the eastern freeway, bound for Manningham Road, the Koonung Station was proposed. The adjacent parkland may well have been intended for a park and ride facility. (see Melway map 32, 79 edition)

  4. Gavin says:

    They estimate the cost of a rail line to Doncaster Park and Ride at between $3 billion and $5 billion, in 2012 dollars, plus the cost of the South Morang line separation works estimated at a similar amount. I cannot see how an expenditure of this magnitude could be justified for just three railway stations.
    Light rail along the freeway and then connected to Melbourne’s tram line infrastructure could start now if funds were made available. For a total of approximately $1.5 – $2 Billion, including rolling stock and providing a link to tram route 48 terminus at North Balwyn through Doncaster Hill to Tunstall Square.
    Mind you, if it was decided to construct the light rail and work was to start immediately, it would create a lot of extra work and responsibility for our Manningham executives and traffic engineers

  5. Edified says:

    A reduction in the number of car users is the forlorn hope of the Iron Horse brigade.
    A railway station at Doncaster Hill will be impossible to access.
    The major requirement for a successful rail station is car parking. It is obvious that the Mandurah line is only successful because of it’s parking facilities.
    The idea that the line must go to Doncaster Hill is a fallacy.
    The best route to reduce car traffic is from Heidelburg to the farmland now known as Westerfolds. A proper sized park and ride and a more scenic along the Yarra would probably be too rational for our planners.

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