The north-south rail line – what about the trams?

A couple of weeks ago I had a look at the prospects for a north-south rail line in central Melbourne. There’s no doubt that such a line would have a substantial impact on travel patterns. Aside from the induced demand implications (which would no doubt be substantial), there would be significant adjustment in the role of trams along the corridor. Instead of providing for often reasonably long journeys, the trams along the north-south rail corridor would take on a different role – working as feeder services to the rail stations and catering for shorter trips in the area. I’ve had a few tentative ideas about how the trams in the area could be adapted to integrate properly with a metro line. The major modifications I’ve been looking at are in three areas; namely the Upfield line section, the Swanston St./St. Kilda Rd. section and the St. Kilda light rail section. All the proposals here are highly tentative, and I’d be very interested to hear feedback and other ideas for reform of the train/tram interface.

Upfield line section

In the event that the Upfield line were sent underground at Jewell, a sizeable chunk of line would become redundant. Although it could be run as a short spur (have a look at Riccardo’s recent post on spur lines), the three stations are already reasonably well served by other lines. Royal Park has the 55 tram, Flemington Bridge has the 57 and 59 and Macaulay is very close to Kensington station. I’m not so sure that making that section of line into a heavy or light rail shuttle service would be the best outcome. Rather, I’d like to see a short section of the line used as part of an east west light rail service along the inner circle alignment.

The line would run from Clifton Hill station, beside the Epping line to Rushall, and then along the inner circle alignment to Royal Park station. From there, the line could use the 55 tracks to Flemington Rd. and the 57 tracks to Queensberry St. A short section of track could be built along Queensberry and Dryburgh Streets, sending the line to its terminus at North Melbourne station. The Upfield line between Royal park and North Melbourne would be closed. Furthermore, with this line duplicating much of the 57 through North Melbourne, the 57 could be rerouted via Flemington Rd. to improve travel time. The otherwise unused southern section of the 57 could become a short service between North Melbourne and Flinders St. station. Here’s a map:


The line would require around 5 kilometres of new track, to be built at a cost of some $54.35 million. The line would also require conversion of 500 metres of the Upfield line, but the cost of this should be negligible when done in conjunction with the other work. Local residents along Park St. might get a bit irate about this plan, so it may be worthwhile to use the grass between the tracks set-up as was done in Box Hill a few years ago.

Swanston St. – St. Kilda Rd. section

Running a high frequency metro line down Swanston St. and St. Kilda Rd. would no doubt have a big impact on tram use patterns. The tram trips would likely become shorter as passengers changed to the train for faster longer trips. Swanston St. and St. Kilda Rd. would still need a frequent service (say every 3 minutes all day), but there would be scope for turning some of the lines into shuttle services. The map below shows the broad principles of what I feel should underline any service changes. There’s a lot of scope for change in the specifics though. In case anyone notices, the station locations I’ve included here are a compromise between the two options presented in my earlier post.


Basically, routes 3, 5, 16, 64 and 67 would remain unchanged. Routes 1 and 8 would be split in half, with the northern sections running to Domian Interchange via Southbank Bvd., Sturt St., Kings way and Park St. The southern sections of routes 1 and 8 would be joined together and run via Domain interchange – this would require the construction of a small section of new track in Park St. as well as the closure of a similar sized section of track in Eastern Rd. Routes 6 and 72 would also become a shuttle service, joining together and feeding into a station at the Alfred.

St. Kilda light rail section

With the construction of a metro to St. Kilda, the role of the 96 light rail moving passengers between St. Kilda and the city becomes largely redundant. One option would be to simply close the line at Port Junction and leave the shorter distance work to the 112. This is potentially short sighted though, and risks making the same mistake that was made when the St. Kilda line was downgraded to light rail – it doesn’t plan for the future. Rather, I’d like to see the 96 take a lot of the 112 passengers, allowing the southern section of the 112 (old route 12) to become a free tourist line like the city circle. The W class trams currently languishing on the 30 and 78/79 could be used here, allowing the tourists to catch a W down Collins St. and along the Esplanade. Later on, the Danks/Patterson/Park St. section could even be moved to Beaconsfield Pde.


Many of the above ideas are just me thinking aloud, and I’d love to see some alternative proposals or even a challenge to my belief that the trams should act as feeders to the rail lines.


25 Responses

  1. Regarding the Upfield section, I don’t think the Inner Circle light rail conversion really fulfils the goal of having trams acting as feeders to the railway lines. I will note annecdotally that the Royal Park interchange seems to get a lot of interchange traffic already, but your proposal separates the 55 and Upfield lines entirely.

    As for the Circle/Upfield interchange, the nearest station would be Jewell and the nearest tram line would be at the former Circle/Upfield branch, effectively a middle of nowhere. From there, it’s 500+ metre uphill walk to the station. Although long interchanges can and do work, I would be surprised if there’s any very effective ones that involve leaving the system. Park St north-east of the Inner Circle path is wider than its level of traffic demands and has only one major intersection. I would propose putting the tram down Park St, turning onto the path of the Upfield line at the level crossing; this halves the distance and flattens the trip. Another idea would be to extend this Park St tram all the way to Grantham St and putting some of the West Coburg trams along this line instead.

    Additionally, it further isolates Brunswick West/Pascoe Vale South from the train system. Extending the Moreland Rd train down to Melville Rd would be very useful, providing not only a link to the train line but allowing a lot of local trips in this area, which from my personal experience go towards Coburg and Moreland, to use a tram. If we were feeling particularly adventurous we might extend this via Pascoe Vale Rd to Moonee Ponds (for local trips and an interchange with the Broadmeadows train and the 82 and 59 trams), and possibly as far as St George’s Road in the other direction.

    Both of these ideas would work best if the Upfield line is undergrounded all the way to Coburg, an idea I think the Moreland City Council has proposed. This idea has a lot to recommend itself, not least of which is twelve level crossings in about five kilometres. It also provides the opportunity to have small station entrances on Sydney Rd at tram stops, which would encourage people to switch from the 19 tram to the train line. While doing this, I would move Jewell station just a short bit further south to allow a more direct interchange with the Inner Circle tram line.

  2. Actually I’ll give you a different use for the St Kilda light rail line.

    Notice from St K station to City Rd it is actually heading north west and then swings back to the Casino.

    Why not have it continue North West to Docklands? Short tunnel under the river. Could end up at ANZ headquarters or similar

  3. You make a good point about trams running the length of Swanston St and St K rd.

    Too much of the burden of PT in this part of the world carried by trams, should be underground. Careful siting of stations could have entrance at each of major corners (one for Art Gallery-State Theatre), one for Domain-Toorak intersection, one for Commercial-High intersections, one for St K Junction. Each side tram would become a shuttle.

    Think of all the drivers salaries saved!

  4. Getting rid of the trams is sacrilege on Railpage – but Brussels shows us the way. Underground each tram line as you can afford it, replace with heavier cars.

  5. Alexander – I like the point that undergrounding the Upfield line really gives you the opportunity to put underground entrances to Sydney Rd.

    This could ideally be put in the form of a sweetener

    -property owners can redevelop to their hearts content around the station sites, but must include a connection to the stations in their plans

  6. I also like Alexander’s idea for station entrances on Sydney Road – Paris Metro style or similar. They’re obvious, and may make people more aware of the heavy rail service right behind Sydney Rd. Although once they discovered the pathetic frequency on Upfield, they’d stick to the tram, unless that issue is fixed.

    I’m not sure the Brussels example should be followed everywhere – trams are useful for short journeys. However, they’re used too often here as a substitute for heavy rail (109, 86, and others), where the route should be truncated or otherwise served by… I don’t know… spur lines? : )
    Or proper light rail, as in off street, stops a decent distance apart. 109/86 have this to some extent in the outer areas, but get bogged down in the inner suburbs, and the compromise means the service is not useful, or inefficent, if you just want to get to the for distant portions of the route.

  7. Melbourne’s street tramways are somewhat anachronistic, and serve several conflicting functions

    -as an ‘electric bus’ for short distances
    -line haul commuting, where heavy rail/metro or light metro should be used
    -as a moving conveyor belt in the CBD

    The CBD tramway network could be expanded, made completely free and use vehicles with practically no seats

    The ‘electric bus’ component is fine, but does not represent the whole network. Typical street running sections of the outer Swanston network eg 72, 5, 67 or so on, the existing service is probably fine as far as the nearest rail station eg for Carnegie-Truganini Rd, it would be Glenhuntly.

    The linehaul sections are generally terrible and should never have been left that way. 109 should not take over an hour from Box Hill to the city. The Kew bit is the worst, I’m not sure what to do about it. I’m not sure I would keep the Victoria St bit except as a local feeder – people from the western end of Victoria St should be using the North Richmond station (except is has such a poor service and is poorly communicated).

    The Vermont South section is fine as an electric bus but where does it go? Hartwell? You can’t tell me it goes to the city – that’s much too far away.

    I’m glad they didn’t build it to Knox – and the $100m it would have cost would have built a nice spur from Boronia.

  8. Dave, Paris Metro style entrances (or the underground toilets in the city) is exactly what I had in mind on Sydney Rd; there’s no reason for a big entrance in a building like in London as long as it’s obvious. And I always had in mind that this would be part of a general renewal of the public system in this area and eventually across the whole system.

    Riccardo (and everyone), a solution I have been thinking of to the tram problem is to make some of the longer lines (Bundoora, Vermont South) into a premetro/Stadtbahn, running at surface level in the middle of the road when the road is divided in the outer suburbs, but they should dive underground in the inner and middle suburbs. Considering the time costs are much greater on the roads into the city than on the roads in the city, undergrounding the lines through the city might happen as one of the later phases. (Relatedly, I think the Doncaster line should go from Johnston St to the route of the route 48 tram, as a freeway line would be nowhere near its users.)

    If a north-south/Upfield tunnel is built, this will obviously make the distinction between trains and trams more ambiguous. Rather than exacerbating any confusion, the solution would be to simply draw maps showing both trams and trains. The current tram maps are completely illegible anyway, and any improvements to the train system would render the current style less useful for that mode, too.

    I don’t know whether for a small amount more it would be better to just use a heavy rail full-on metro system and stay underground all the way. I gather it’s generally cost-prohibitive to upgrade premetros to full metros. Of course, the question is generally what’s the use on spending a lot of money on something people won’t use, when you can spend a bit more and have something they will?

  9. Alexander

    I think your idea is the right one.

    The trick with metros and underground systems generally is to know where your costs come from

    For example, with the Perth underground section, the government assumed the contractors wanted to do maximal cut-and-cover, and minimal TBM. As it turned out, the contractors wanted maximal TBM and minimal cut-and-cover, causing a lot less disruption to the surface.

    Some of the existing off street tramway network is suitable for use as is by a light metro, but a lot isn’t.

    But even then, the unsuitable sections are better than nothing, as they are already crown property and only existing passengers would be disrupted by the work.

    Paris, Montreal and Brussels all have examples of tight curvature
    and steep grades underground and for a light metro, we should not be afraid of these possibilities.

    But you would tend to do them in the inner suburbs, I would suggest for the outer suburbs a mix of freeway median, elevated or TBM’d heavy duty routes, with a tendency to minimise the route length if cost is an issue.

    The aim, as I have blogged, is to get every piece of double track electrified railway in Melbourne(be it 1500V or 600V off street) working to a minimum 5 minute frequency with a speed of at least 60km/h held, and vehicles that hold at least 300 people and stations with platforms and level entry.

    I don’t think it is important whether such rail is a traditional MMTB/Yarra Trams asset or a traditional VR/Victrack asset, except in how you might need to modify it to get it fit for purpose.

    You need to lead with the outcome first – that is – you want a spinal rail route capable of moving 3600 people per hour minimum via 12 services per hour, capable of covering 20km in 30 minutes, with short station stops at 0.5-1.5km intervals, 18 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    Most of the former tramway asset fails the 20km-30min test because of road intersection, slow speeds and too frequent stopping. But those parts that don’t fail such a test should be included in a light metro network, which would be a hybrid of the best of the tramway network and the worst of the rail network.

    I say the worst of the rail network, because I would set a much higher bar for the service standard for the remaining rail network – should be able to do 30km-30min, 1000 people per set and 12000 people per hour minimum, station spacing further apart ideally. New sections should be pushed to even tougher limits. A new Doncaster line could run 9 car trains, 1500 people per set, 3 minute frequency, 30,000 people per hour at peak period.

    Re your comment about the Doncaster line not going near its users – I would mention the Joondalup line leaves the easement at Joondalup and goes back to the freeway for Currumbine and Clarkson. It is understood that Alkimos and Jindalee will also be outside the freeway as will Yanchep and Two Rocks in the distant future.

    You could do this for Doncaster -a short non-median section for North Balwyn (but you’ll get Bulleen and Lower Heidelberg people whinging then!)

  10. Hmm… the north/south metro might have a bit more trouble getting up – they’ve just announced the St Kilda Rd superstop program, third rail around the Arts Centre for overtaking, etc.

    Still useful, but the Govt has to start thinking more ambitiously.

  11. Many thanks for your comments Alexander, Riccardo and Dave.

    Alexander, you’re quite right that my inner circle light rail would fail to connect with the Upfield line – this is a problem. Running along Park St instead of cutting through Princes Park is a better idea and is less likely to annoy locals.

    I also like your idea for undergrounding Upfield and placing the entrances along Sydney Rd. If done as cut and cover and as part of the north-south rail project, I could see it working out far cheaper than individual grade separations as well.

    Riccardo, the three roles you mention for Melbourne’s trams are spot on. They work very well for the short haul and CBD trips, but fail miserably for line haul. The 86 and 75 are prime examples of the problem. This isn’t to say that I’m against long lines per se, but rather that we need to recognise that street trams are only effective for trips under 5km long. Anything more than this and they don’t work.

    I’d definitely keep Victoria St – the government and YT just need to stop pretending that the 109 should be anything other than a short trip (5km or less)/feeder service.

    North Richmond station doesn’t help – it has a useless service and is generally dirty and ugly. It need to be rebuilt and staffed, have at least 6tph all day (really needs even more) and ideally should have escalators up to the platforms.

    Dave, I agree that building a new metro line shouldn’t negate the need for the existing tram. As products, metros and street trams are sufficiently differentiated that they aren’t anywhere near perfect substitutes. I say use the metro for longer line haul passengers and keep the tram so people can change from metro to tram to get to the front door of their destination.

  12. On the issue of problems with the 86 and 75 and the long term need for metro/premetro, I’d advocate a couple of short term fixes (next 2 years) to start with. On both lines, the reserve track gets pretty close to potential rail interchanges, but fails because poor rail frequency, poor station locations and integration, lack of decent traffic light priority etc.

    I’d put a train/tram interchange at Dundas St. There’s only about 3.5 km of steet track between here and the reserve track. Get the 112 and the 86 to use the Preston workshops track to swap over – putting the 112 on High St and the 86 on St Georges Rd. Move Thornbury station 500m north and build a proper interchange at the hump.

    When I say proper interchange I mean undercover, escalators down to the platforms, decent signage/announcements and most importantly a decent level of service. The Plenty Rd street track needs to be seperated from cars. To do this ban parking all day and give the tram its own lane by putting in some concrete kerb blocks or even raising the whole track up 20cm.

    Do the same thing but make the Alamein line the interchange. There’s only 1.75km of street track Give it a proper lane, close Hartwell and Burwood and open a new station over Toorak Rd. All the requirements I mentioned for a proper interchange on the 86 apply here too.

    For these plans to work properly, segregating street track, proper interchanges, traffic light priority, good communication and a high level of service (a 5 minute average wait time or less = at least 6 services per hour) are a must.

    From a technical and economic perspective, it is all achievable in 2 years max. From a political perspective, it may sadly never be viable…

  13. Excellent ideas

    I should say Phin, its good that we have a place to compare our dreams (being free as they are).

    It doesn’t really matter if our ideas differ – as I found with the Perth to Mandurah and the Brisbane projects – sometimes the consultants and contractors come up with BETTER ideas than any of us could have.

    You can rest assured that if the project is in good hands, they will come up with the right ideas.

    Melbourne has been a bit light on for good ideas in recent decades – but I am glad they built the Bungaree deviation and the corridor straightening around Bacchus Marsh.

  14. I agree with your tram mods and also agree with your comment that it will never happen

    Part of the problem with our suggestions is that each modification implies another.

    Running the 75s to Burwood-Hartwell implies that the Alamein line should get a better service (no good doing it now and dumping pax for a long wait in the middle of the day). Same goes for Thornbury.

    Politicians don’t like “Spend on A means you need to spend on B”.

  15. “Politicians don’t like “Spend on A means you need to spend on B”.”

    Yes they do, only applied to roads and freeways…

  16. Phin, apologies for this long post. I don’t think I can keep coming up with great ideas as long as you can to sustain my own blog, but I do think it’s important to correct this attitude of failure that seems to be associated with this community.

    Riccardo, you must’ve been listening when — who was it, the treasurer? the premier? — pre-empted the Eddington enquiry by pretty much saying that we’ll need to build the east-west tunnel because dredging will increase traffic to and from the port. Politicians love spending big money, because then in ten years time people say “Citylink” and think “Jeff Kennet”.

    And this is why politicians don’t bother with public transport: no-one’s making sexy proposals. PTUA and Paul Mees say “improve buses”, “improve the timetable”. Others say duplicate this, extend that or bring up ancient ideas again and again. Who wants to be associated with that? Who could be associated with that?

    Developing a good, expensive, obvious plan with a clear but extensive “Part A” (such as a north-south corridor improvement as part of general metrofication of our rail systems) and selling it to a politician so that we can say “this long-lasting improvement to Melbourne’s public transport was x’s doing” in much the same way we associate Citylink with Kennet would do more for the cause than any amount of incremental improvements will.

    I see the right way of doing this would be not to go through the regular channels. Avoid the PTUA and local councils and the Greens. Don’t get the idea dirtied by them, keep it pure and pristene for the minister/premier. (Of course, most aspects of the idea have already been proposed by the Melbourne and Moreland councils, which is why it needs to be sold as part of a bigger scheme. Not that pollies are averse to re-using old plans as long as it’s different enough it can be new (the east-west tunnel was ruled out at the start of Bracks’ government…).

    Now, on one of these sexy routes, I don’t know how many people are stuck in traffic every day or the average income of these sorts of people, so I’m going to pull some numbers out of my arse. But if we assume 10&nsbp;000 people are stuck in traffic and so are travelling 20 km/h at 20 km/h instead of a sexy 60 km/h, and these sorts of people are on $60 000/year on average, then a 500 million dollar subway pays for itself in five years in productivity alone — that’s practically free!

    But they aren’t the only people who benefit. Now that the Upfield line is the main way into town and route 19 is only for local trips, the peak-hour clearway can be dropped off, opening up hundreds of parking spaces along the length of Sydney Road (a necessary sacrifice, and pretty cheap too considering peak-hour travellers are in much faster trains now anyway). Now again with making up numbers, but if we assume that over about 4.5 km of Sydney Road with 31 cross roads each causing 20 m of space on each side of the road to be unavailable (in reality, T-intersections only take away ten metres on one side). And I’ll take a single parking space to be 10 metres. Let’s assume also that there’s four hours of clearway time each day on Sydney Road, and that each hour of parking has about a $5 economic benefit. That’s then 2 sides × (4.5 km -(31 crossroads × 20 m)) / 10 m-per-space = 776 spaces freed up for four hours at five dollars per hour is over $15 000 per day given back from commuters to the community, or around $3 500 000 per year if we assume we get this benefit for 45 weeks a year. You might even extract a small tax from the shopowners to get some of this benefit back, as is done in France (according to Wikipedia).

    Now, of course, if we seriously wanted to present this to a politician these figures should have some stronger basis in reality and of course I might’ve given myself unrealistically favorable figures. I’ve tried to exaggerate, but I’m notoriously bad with estimating figures so I could be way off.

    Thing is, I don’t know how to get this idea to the government. Possibly it’s possible to lobby via the RACV or Connex?

  17. Eep! Typo. The last sentence of my sixth paragraph should read:

    “But if we assume 10 000 people are stuck in traffic and so are travelling 20 km/h at 20 km/h instead of a sexy 60 km/h, and these sorts of people are on $60 000/year on average, then a 500 million dollar subway pays for itself in five years in productivity alone — that’s practically free!”

  18. I said: “But if we assume 10 000 people are stuck in traffic and so are travelling 20 km at 20 km/h instead of a sexy 60 km/h, and these sorts of people are on $60 000/year on average, then a 500 million dollar subway pays for itself in five years in productivity alone — that’s practically free!”

    On second thoughts, that was a completely unfair comparison. There’s no way a 20 km subway could be built for $500 million. A fair comparison would be with a five kilometre trip, and that would give a saving of about five dollars per person per day, or an eighth the cost, i.e. it’s not paid itself back for about 40 years. In any case, this wasn’t meant to be the only source of savings a subway could produce, as the next paragraph indicated.

  19. Alex, you’re right about the big ticket stuff for pollies I think.

    The problem is they’re still thinking mainly road projects; I think in this regard they’re out of touch with most of the community – PT is getting a lot of press coverage, and with rising petrol & congestion, is what a sizeable chunk of the population takes to work now.

    Leaving a new train line, metro, airport extension would all be positive projects, I would have thought – eg Doncaster is a right/liberal leaning electorate; if it was a Labor govt that built them a rail line, I’m guessing it might swing it their way for a good long time. Plus it would get kudos from all the Green voters in the inner city that are threatening Labor there (fewer cars ending up in their streets too).

  20. Re packaging the spending

    This is where the NSW govt, for all their faults, are finally grasping the nettle (somewhat, in fits and starts) – with their plan for a 1st metro line.

    I’ve given Angelico $20 towards his lobbying (because the PTUA are ineffective) but disagree strongly with his methods and rationale

    He seems to think you can do a bit at time. Maybe, but each bit needs to fit into an overall effective plan – and Meeting Our Transport Challenges ain’t it.

    The reason I back the metro above all other options is that for your $1b you get

    -a complete break with history and technology from the old providers

    -completely new choice of route, which I think frightens some gunzels as they can’t imagine a Dandenong train going via East Malvern or via Domain Rd Interchange, both of which options have good merits

    -you would actually route it for demand. Not via Caulfield because that’s where we always go, nor via South Yarra because hey, wouldn’t it be good to have 8 tracks running parallel to Richmond, and other feeble-minded excuses.

    -possibility of being overloaded on day one, which I think frightens both pollies and gunzels. It is important that the metro does the BULK of the heavy lifting for 20-30 years, and leaves the existing services rather empty. This is success, not failure. It also provides pathing for freight, country, embarrasingly hard to get rid of suburban traffic and so on.

    -overloaded from day one means the work on the next one starts almost immediately

    -meaningful bus-rail interchange. Most of the sites on the existing network are going to be hard to make into Perth-standard interchanges, with escalator direct from platform to bus, or alternatively, direct level transfer from platform to bus, via a sunken roadway in the centre of the island platform. But this can be done on a new line

    -beat the NIMBYs for good. Buy sufficient land around each station site, give the developer a free go. The sites would be brownfield but otherwise virgin to rail, and have no history of “when I moved here, we only had 2 rail motors a day” type garbage.

    -genuine economies of scale. From the manufacturer/developer, not the purchaser. Whatever Busan, Korea is having, I’ll have one of those. If they paint their cars blue, then hey, why not? If they’ve got a bulk order of shiny stainless steel side bench seats, we’ll have’m too.

  21. Without having a proper website up, it’s hard for me to really know what Smart Passengers wants to do, but I’ve got the impression that they’re thinking like failure is the road to success (as you say, “doing it a bit at a time”). But they do have something right — they seem to want to get politicians on-side, to work with them, not criticise them. If they’re willing to concede that the best way to get great public transport for Melbourne is by convincing the government to immortalise itself in a subway, I’d support them. But I don’t think that’s the way they think.

  22. Alexander, I think that you’re exactly right.

    Proposals that offer marginal improvements to a limited area don’t capture people’s imaginations, people’s votes or politicians’ support. A big ‘sexy’ project that costs billions may very well succeed where smaller ones would fail. That’s not to say that the minor ideas should be shelved, rather that they should be contained within a larger bundle.

    I think that a “Transport Revolution” (I know it’s a terrible name) that incorporated the north south tunnel, an airport extension to the Upfield line, a Rowville line via Chadstone and Monash, etc… could be marketed as “The biggest change to Melbourne’s transport system. Ever.” I also think that it would win the government far more votes than the desalination plant and at a very similar cost.

  23. Thanks for the comments everyone, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I too agree that big ticket items are what we should be aiming for advocacy wise.

    I’ve also been wondering who the best target of advocacy is. I’m not convinced that labor will win the 2010 Victorian election – even after I saw today’s AgePoll! I know that 2006 was an electoral disaster for the liberals, but so was 2004 for federal labor.

    I don’t know whether the libs would go for broad scale transport reform – they seem too tied up in factional wars to do anything at the moment. However, the signs in 2006 (48 extension, South Morang rail, Rowville study etc.) were somewhat favourable. We’ll just have to see what happens I suppose – but there’s no doubt in my mind that labor would be in a lot of trouble facing a liberal party with a sensible transport policy.

  24. […] under Swanston St. and St. Kilda Rd. Indeed, I posted on this issue, as well what to do about the trams, a while back. However, I planned on sending the tunnel North to the Upfield and Doncaster and […]

  25. […] heavy rail) – Splitting route 72 and extending it north to Ivanhoe and south to Caulfield – Splitting some of the St. Kilda Rd. routes into shuttles – Reconfiguring routes 86, 96 and 112 to segregate street from light rail running, improve […]

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