The Doncaster Rail Study consists of two phases:
- Phase One will identify and investigate a number of heavy rail options that could connect Melbourne’s CBD to the Doncaster area
- Phase Two scope of work will depend on the outcomes of Phase One. It may include more detailed planning on heavy rail options or consider alternative options.
We are currently undertaking Phase One of the Study.
Community and stakeholder feedback obtained at workshops, ideas booths, on our website and via social media will be considered when developing corridor options for the heavy rail connection to Doncaster.
Phase Two is expected to commence late-2012 and be completed in 2013.
The Victorian Government has committed to investigate the feasibility of providing a heavy rail line that could connect Melbourne’s CBD to Doncaster. ‘Heavy rail’ refers to trains running on tracks in a dedicated corridor similar to that currently running on our rail network. Heavy rail is different to light rail or trams that may share the corridor with vehicles. Heavy rail is separated from our road network.
The Victorian Government has appointed the Doncaster Rail Study team to only investigate heavy rail options to the Doncaster area in Phase One of the study.
Depending on the outcomes of this work, and the direction given by the Government, other public transport modes may be considered in Phase Two.
There is a lot of work to do before the exact locations of potential stations will be known.
The study has identified ‘nodes’ for possible station locations based on a ‘needs’ perspective. We are assessing these ‘nodes’ based on their accessibility, co-location with activity / shopping centres, ability to promote more sustainable transport outcomes and capacity to integrate rail with other modes of transport including walking, cycling, buses and trams.
We will also consider the link to communities and social services such as schools, hospitals, sporting grounds and so on, and consider both existing and potential future land uses.
As an independent study team, we cannot comment on behalf of the Victorian Government regarding its commitments to building a new rail line to Doncaster.
It can be said, however, that this is the most comprehensive study into a possible rail link to Doncaster ever undertaken.
As the independent study team, we will provide the government with the best possible advice on engineering and operational issues as part of Phase One of the study.
We will submit a Recommendations Report to government detailing the findings of our work, which will assist government in determining possible next steps in progressing the feasibility study.
It is fair to say that it would be very expensive to build any new rail infrastructure from Melbourne’s CBD to Doncaster, as all proposed routes involve considerable lengths of tunnelling.
Depending on the recommended rail corridor, the government will examine costs, benefits and construction impacts during future stages of the study.
From the three possible rail corridor themes, we do know that Theme 3: Orbital Network “South to Box Hill” would likely be the least costly to construct.
As Theme 2: Local Access “Stopping All Stations” would require the rail line to run predominantly through an underground tunnel, it is considered a more costly solution.
Potential land acquisition options are being avoided where possible in these early stages of investigating a rail line to Doncaster. It is possible there would be the requirement to acquire some land as part of building a rail line to Doncaster, regardless of the potential rail alignment, but it is too early to determine this with any certainty.
A reservation exists along the median of the Eastern Freeway up to Bulleen Road (refer to Rapid Transit “Express to City” Theme) and this route is one of three rail corridors being considered as part of the study. Where land has not been designated for a future rail line, underground tunnelling is nominated as the preferred solution.
What will happen to the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus services if a rail line to Doncaster is built?
A critical element of determining the feasibility of a rail line to Doncaster is the integration of public transport services to ensure each mode has a complementary purpose across the network.
It is too early to speculate as to how existing public transport services might be altered if a rail line to Doncaster was built, especially given there are three, quite different, rail alignment themes being considered.
How are you taking into consideration other connecting transport modes, such as interlinking tram routes?
Stakeholders and the community have suggested a number of upgrades / changes to existing public transport services as part of the Doncaster Rail Study. Suggestions include the extension of tram route 72 beyond its current termination point at Camberwell.
At the completion of Phase One, the study team will deliver a report to government with recommendations for a heavy rail solution. This report will discuss possible changes to the public transport network that could be made to complement a new heavy rail line from Melbourne’s CBD toDoncaster.
PTV is the statutory authority that administers Victoria’s train, tram and bus services. It provides a single contact point for customers wanting information on public transport services, fare, tickets and initiatives.
The Doncaster Rail Study now sits within the portfolio of work carried out by PTV.
PTV was established in April 2012 with the aim of improving public transport in Victoria by:
- Ensuring better coordination between modes
- Facilitating expansions to the network
- Auditing public transport assets
- Promoting public transport as an alternative to the car
- Acting as a system authority for all public transport and an advocate for public transport users.
More information about PTV can be found at – http://corp.ptv.vic.gov.au/.