The Null Device


It seems to be the season for blue-sky speculation about new railway lines in Melbourne again; The Age has published vague details of a leaked state government report listing possible new and reopened railway lines:

Under the blueprint, tracks might connect Chadstone shopping centre to the Dandenong and Glen Waverley lines and trains could run to Rowville and Monash University.
Options also include a north-south rail tunnel from Melbourne University to Windsor and the Melbourne Airport rail link.
Ah yes, the Melbourne Underground/Subway. Though why have it terminate at Melbourne University? Wouldn't it make more sense to have it veer eastward, under the latte-land of Fitzroy and Alexandra Parade, before emerging in the middle of the Eastern Freeway and becoming the mythical Doncaster railway line (which, incidentally, isn't mentioned in the article)?

There's more in it, though; the authors speculate on the possibility of reopening lines including the Outer Circle line (from Fairfield to Oakleigh via Kew, Camberwell and Malvern East; this could perhaps end up being the Chadstone rail link mentioned), a railway line going to Monash University in Clayton, and reopening the truncated ends of existing lines, such as Lilydale to Healesville and Frankston to Mornington.

Mind you, the report doesn't discuss funding, and appears to be nothing more than a catalogue of rights-of-way along which it would be possible, should a need arise, to lay tracks and run rail services. Whether we'll ever see trains running cheerfully through the ruins of the VicRoads headquarters in Kew, or, for that matter, to Doncaster or Monash University, is an entirely different question.

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