Melbourne Metro System

Fig. 01: My own schematic map showing just one possible scenario for the Melbourne Metro System. The Sunshine - Dandenong Metro (Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel) is currently under construction. There have been numerous feasibility studies into a rapid rail link to Doncaster, Rowville and Melbourne Airport. Here I have included the Rail Futures Institute advocacy groups' endorsement for a Airport Rail Link to be separated from the metropolitan network and as a stand alone project incorporated into the Regional Rail network. Other regional rail lines are not included here. My scenario is not a "fantasy metro", but one which is realizable with all information extrapolated through close observation to current studies, topographical map data and a basic knowledge of railway engineering (ref: Vukan R. Vuchic - Urban Transit). Obviously this scenario of mine would require decades of development towards being envisaged.


Fig. 02: 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 proposed Melbourne Metro rail tunnel will have 2 min 30 sec headways during peak operations. 

Fig. 03: Historical map showing the Greater Melbourne Rail Network in the Ashworth Improvement Plan of 1940. Little of the proposals in this plan were ever realised with WW2 getting in the way. Interesting to note is that an extensive underground rail network was proposed bringing the Melbourne rail network kicking and screaming into the 20th century. There was also scope to maintain the Inner Circle Line and part of the Outer Circle Line.

Fig. 04: The 1969 Melbourne Transport Plan was a serious proposal for expansion of the Melbourne Metropolitan rail network - in the days when Governments had good corporate knowledge and ambition. Indeed this is the upgrade which was supposed to happen with construction of the Underground City Loop and the provision of a wide enough median along the Eastern Freeway for a new rail line to Doncaster. Urban sprawl as then predicted continued to expand in the SE and Monash University grew, but the Rowville Line, Dandenong to Frankston Line nor the Doncaster Line were ever completed. In fact passenger numbers began to fall and continued so well beyond 1985.

Fig. 05: 2015 Indicative alignment for the planned Melbourne Metro rail tunnel and its 5 currently proposed stations. Unfortunately there isn't any scope for a South Yarra Stn - among busiest rail hubs on the Melbourne metropolitan rail network in 2017. It would be possible to place a new station node with an island platform at a depth of AHD 0.9 m beneath the existing Sandringham Line and south of the present station. This would be placed along the proposed alignment for the planned rail tunnel and allow for the line to be below 2.6 % ruling grade at the tunnel portals.

Fig. 06: Scenarios for Melbourne Metro Two - Parkville to Northcote.

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