Melbourne Metro System


Fig. 01: PTV - Public Transport Victoria's long term Network Development Rail Plan. This map dates from late 2012 and is probably the best official scenario yet - showing a good degree of ambition. Numbers indicate maximum frequencies in rail services for each direction during the peak hour periods. For instance the now proposed Melbourne Metro rail tunnel will have capacity for 2min 30sec headways during peak services.  

The Doncaster Hill / Mernda Metro

Below and in responce to the recently publicized 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 historically any feasibility study for such a line. It is surprising also that there is no advocacy for such a rail line, especially after all the controversy with the recently commenced 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 a certainly bidirectional rapid rail link from Frankston to Sorrento would be possible with additional tunnelling in places.

Fig. 01: Schematic map of the envisaged Melbourne Metro System overlaid onto existing Metropolitan Rapid Rail Network. Only the Sunshine - Dandenong Metro has been seriously proposed by DOT, the state Department of Transport - officially called the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel. Currently there are feasibility studies into a rapid rail link to Doncaster Hill, Rowville and  Melbourne Airport nearly completion. I have used their actual core options for alignment, but with greater detail to what any feasibility study has so far made public. My scenario above is not a "fantasy metro", all information has been extrapolated through close observation to current studies, topographical map data and a basic knowledge of railway engineering. Obviously the above scenario would require decades of development to be envisaged, but I can only hope that it can play as a feasible model for realisation of the Melbourne Metro System: Peninsula Loop Metro