Melb Metro Rail Tunnel: The right lines, the right stations?

 
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
Hey all,  

I had a good search around the forums for a discussion about this topic (as in a dedicated thread, not just fleeting comments) and I came up with nothing. So I thought I would start a thread to discuss it. If I have missed an existing thread in my search, or my new post is generally out of line, please let me know!  Smile

Anyway, to the topic at hand: I thought it would be interesting to ignite some debate about potential alternatives for the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel. Specifically:  

1. Are the proposed lines of Melton/Sunbury and Cranbourne the most appropriate lines to have running through the new tunnel? If not, which lines would be better and why?  

2. Are the proposed "new" stations of Parkville and Domain the best options? If not, which locations would be better?  

3. Are the "existing" stations  which the line will run through (Melb Central, Flinders etc) the best choices? Should there be more, less, or replacement stations? (for example, should an underground platform be built at North Melbourne?)  

As a caveat, I think it would be interesting to try and keep things "realistic" i.e. within the ball park of the existing proposal. For example, proposing a complete re-routing of the tunnel to the North-Eastern or Eastern suburbs (as I had seen suggested in earlier posts on the topic) would be stretching things a little too far from the existing proposal!  

Over to you... Very Happy

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  712M Chief Commissioner

From what I have heard, the new platforms 15 & 16 at Flinders Street will be very low to allow the tunnel to go under the Yarra River.

Also, I think that there should be an interchange at Kensington too.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

From what I have heard, the new platforms 15 & 16 at Flinders Street will be very low to allow the tunnel to go under the Yarra River.

Also, I think that there should be an interchange at Kensington too.
"712M"


And Citylink
  Peter Spyker Train Controller

Also, I think that there should be an interchange at Kensington too.
"712M"


And Citylink
"bramt"


Well, interchanging with the Upfield line, anyway.
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
Should there be an Interchange with Craigeburn (Kensington) AND Upfield lines? If there is an interchange with Upfield, should this be at Macauley? The line could then run through West/North Melbourne (the suburbs, not stations) roughly following Canning St and Molesworth St to the proposed Parkville station (which will be located somewhere on the site of the old Dentistry Hospital, where the new Integrated Cancer Centre will be built). Perhaps a station could be built roughly in between Kensington and Macauley (they are kind of close together) with some form of pedestrian tunnel access from both stations?
Or, is going to Melb Central and interchanging there (which would be the option under the current proposal) good enough?

Also, on the point of the Craigeburn and Upfield lines, I know that one original proposal (back a few years ago) was to re-route Upfield from Jewell Station into a rail tunnel. Does anyone think that Upfield/Craigeburn should be the Northern feeder lines for the new tunnel? Or is it just cheaper and easier to use the new Melton/Sunbury line construction?
  John_Proctor Train Controller

many people think that the Upfield line is a more logical solution - particularly as it would remove the 'kink' that the upfield line takes from Jewell through North Melbourne to the city.

BUT  - I don't agree

We have to face facts that Melbourne's network has limited funding.  We will only get 1 tunnel in the next 20 years (with $5 billion on stage one from say 2012-2017 and then another $5 billion on stage 2 Domain-Caulfield from 2017-2022 + $2 billion on Dandenong corridor works which are called stage 3 in the Victorian transport plan).

Lines to use the tunnel

As such we need to get the most bang for our buck from the tunnel (while still providing a logical train network solution).  Running Upfield through the tunnel with its present 3 tph, and its maximum required capacity of maybe 10 trains per hour doesn't justify the investment and doesn't provide enough broader network benefits.

That is why running Sunbury/Melton trains through the tunnel with current 10tph and eventually 20tph+ makes more sense.  Because a) it justifies the tunnel cost and b) it gives 20 train paths instead of 10 train paths back to the broader at grade northern group.

In the east it is less clear.  Should the tunnel connect to Frankston or Cranbourne/Pakenham, or Westall short starts or some other destination (Roweville?) in a future extension.   I think it depends on how you operate the whole 'Caulfield group'.  which trains do you want to stop all stations and which do you want to express and which stopping all stations option is a faster route to the CBD (ie. stopping all stations via south yarra is 6 stops to FSS, through the tunnel will it be 4 stops?)

The General Alignment
I like the aligment along the main spine of the city.  St Kilda Road could use some train stations and a St Kilda Junction station or at least closer train station to St Kilda itself would be great.  Obviously Parkville needs a station.

I think the stage 2 alignment is the most problematic section.  Why run a train down Dandenong Road when there is already a high quality 'light rail' line along that section.    I have heard some suggestions that the line should actually run down Balaclava Road to get from St Kidla Road to Caulfield.  this is still a tram route but its a shared traffic tram road and also further away from the existing MATH stations between Caulfield and South Yarra which would east into the walkable catchment for any station along Dandenong Road (at say Orrong Road which is only 800m to Armadale Station, or Williams Road which is only 800m to Windsor Station)

Station Location
I like the idea of a station between Kensington and Macauley stations for interchange to both upfield and craigieburn.  it isn't practical to run the train past north melbourne so that is the only interchange option for those lines.

Parkville obvious station. Melbourne Central and FSS are required to give the people on this line 2 optiosn for CBD exit.  Imagine if there was only 1 station in the CBD the pedestrian flows would be unmanagable.  There isn't room to have a 3rd station in the CBD as you'd have platform faces pracitcally touching each other.

along St Kilda Road I'd have Domain (with obvious tram interchange benefits), Commercial Road (alfred hospital), and St Kilda Junction. (spacings of about 1.5km.

I'd then follow my Balaclava Road idea and have an interchange with Sandy line at Balaclava Station (not all that improtant though and might be better at St Kilda Town Hall), then a Kooyong Road station then onto Caulfield Station.

Total of 9 stations between Footscray adn Caulfield being Kensington, Parkville, Central, FSS, Domain, Commercial, St K Junction, Balaclava, Kooyong Road.

Uplift

One thing that needs to happen as part of the building of the tunnel is leveraging land use planning outcomes from the tunnels construction.  The government needs to rezone land within a few hundred metres of each station to 'high density' or 'activity centre' or whatever it is with as of right development for 8+ storey buildings.  
This is particuarly necessary to jutsify the 'new corridor' argument that is used about the tunnel (ie. opening up heavy rail to new users).  If we aren't going to uplift land use then why not just upgrade the existing corridors which may well be cheaper.
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
As a related question, what do people think will be the impact on Swanston St - St Kilda Rd tram services? Will all lines continue to terminate at Melbourne Uni? This seems like the only logical turnback point in the network, but patronage will almost certainly shift to rail and the new Parkville station in significant numbers. The Melbourne Uni tram stop is bottle-necked for several hours each day, so will the new train connection allow for a re-think of this system?

I don't mean to drag (my own!) thread off-topic, so please continue to discuss the tunnel stations/alignment etc as well!   Razz
  Speed Minister for Railways

Passengers alighting from the train for St Kilda Road and Swanston Street are spread between Federation Square and Melbourne Central with some at stations outisde the city like South Yarra.

If you add a station at Domain Interchange, you spread the passengers a bit more. If you add one at St Kilda junction, you achieve even distribution of tram passengers along St Kilda Road. You'll still have a substantial number of passengers on St Kilda Road.

You may have a reduction in passengers catching trams north of the city. Still the university is a suitable place for a turnback. If there's a railway station there two, that might make it more useful terminus.
  John_Proctor Train Controller

I think the trams would all run to the same place but isntead of running at a literally 1 minute frequency up and down Swanston Street in peak times you might run at a 2 minute frequency.

that would then free up say 10 trams from that stretch of road to run on other parts of the network.  eg. 1 extra peak hour tram on all the routes that feed onto St Kilda Road but terminated at Domain (or even St Kilda Junction) feeding into the train tunnel with mroe services on the 'non train' parts of hte route.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

If one reads all the available DOT papers and submissions the proposal to through route Sunbury/Melton to  long distance sparks terminating at Dandenong, Pakenham or Cranbourne gives the best outcome:

1. Effectively frees up an existing track pair from Footscray/South Kensington area right through to Caulfield for expansion of services on other lines within the Caulfield Group .

2. Along with RRL gives a huge increase in train paths on existing Northern Group lines.

3. Provides a huge new range of connections/interchange opportunities between rail at Footscray, Melbourne Central, Flinders Street. And between train and tram at Footscray, Melbourne Central, Flinders Street and The Domain .

4. Provides an express underground rail service down the key spine of Swanston St/St Kilda Road easing greatly current chronic overcrowding situations on trams in both Swanston St and especially St Kilda Road.

As time inches on and the new Train Franchisee now predicts patronage doubling within 10 years the questions that need to be asked now are :

*  What innovative financing options are there to get Stage 1 under construction earlier, and for Stage 2 to be bought forward so the whole project is completed within say 7 - 8 years ?

*  If at all possible Stage 1 should be extended to terminate at Commercial Road or better still underground at South Yarra station .

*  What innovative financing options are there to get a four track solution from either Caulfield/Oakleigh to at least Westall if not Dandenong ? constructed concurrently with Stage 2 of the Metro tunnel ?
(Feeding the new tunnel into an existing corridor reaching capacity now would be senseless, and the much vaunted "plan" is silent on what is planned for the Dandenong Corridor above ground.)

* Given the constraints at Caulfield and between Caulfield and Oakleigh, Stage 2 of the tunnel realistically should probably be looking to surface around Oakleigh .  

The new franchisee has considerable expertise in leveraging rail improvements through property developments (both residential and commercial) on rail easements and over stations and Government should be using and teaming with the new Operator to get best value both for taxpayers and travellers. The new guy is here for 7 if not 15 years so here is a brilliant opportunity for Melbourne to get the benefit of their Hong Kong experience. (NB: Both Government and Victrack and the old VR have all been pretty hopeless in the area of property development that also benefits the rail traveller.)

Also we need outside the square financing options to build these big ticket transport infrastructure items like :  congestion taxes on CBD entry by cars and trucks,  a CBD metro rate levy,  special Metro tunnel levies on fares, shadow tolls, property development over rail lines and stations, charging for car parking at stations, public / private partnerships etc etc .

Existing funding sources will be totally inadequate to fund the required rail (or for that matter limited road ) improvements. We either find innovative financing solutions, and let Property Development pay in part, or Melbourne will slowly strangle itself passenger movement wise .

Hopefully now Governments realize the issue is moving people and goods, not cars and trucks ; and thus the senseless era of endless freeway construction will be replaced by a massive investment in fixed rail and tram/bus, supplemented by a lesser program of road improvements aimed at getting goods to and from ports, freight terminals etc .
  Speed Minister for Railways

3. Provides a huge new range of connections/interchange opportunities between rail at Footscray, Melbourne Central, Flinders Street. And between train and tram at Footscray, Melbourne Central, Flinders Street and The Domain .

4. Provides an express underground rail service down the key spine of Swanston St/St Kilda Road easing greatly current chronic overcrowding situations on trams in both Swanston St and especially St Kilda Road.
...
*  If at all possible Stage 1 should be extended to terminate at Commercial Road or better still underground at South Yarra station .
"kuldalai"
Are you suggesting that stage 1 have a tunnel from Domain Interchange to South Yarra as a temporary route until the tunnel is extended further south? I'd want to be certain that's really temporary.

The replacement of the existing commercial buildings between Inkerman and Wellington streets with new larger buildings, much like the other buildings on St Kilda Road, cannot be that far off.

Given the constraints at Caulfield and between Caulfield and Oakleigh, Stage 2 of the tunnel realistically should probably be looking to surface around Oakleigh .
"Kudalai"

The more closely a tunnel follows the existing line, the fewer new stations or sites it opens.

If it weren't to emerge between Caulfield and Carnegie but rather somewhere further down, I'd suggest a sweeping route servicing Fitzroy Street, Elsternwick, Hawthorn Road, Ormond or Glen Huntly, East Boundary Road, Huntingdale. If you're paying for tunnel anyway, you may as well splash out on a few new stations.

Emerging down from Caulfield is cheaper, still rather beneficial and a more likely outcome. To interchange with the Sandringham line, the tunnel would ideally pass through Windsor (or Balaclava).
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
along St Kilda Road I'd have Domain (with obvious tram interchange benefits), Commercial Road (alfred hospital), and St Kilda Junction. (spacings of about 1.5km.

I'd then follow my Balaclava Road idea and have an interchange with Sandy line at Balaclava Station (not all that improtant though and might be better at St Kilda Town Hall), then a Kooyong Road station then onto Caulfield Station.
"John_Proctor"


If it weren't to emerge between Caulfield and Carnegie but rather somewhere further down, I'd suggest a sweeping route servicing Fitzroy Street, Elsternwick, Hawthorn Road, Ormond or Glen Huntly, East Boundary Road, Huntingdale. If you're paying for tunnel anyway, you may as well splash out on a few new stations.
"Speed"


I agree with both of you that the new tunnel (whether in Stage 1 or Stage 2) should extend closer to St Kilda and the Fitzroy St/Luna Park/St Kilda Beach precinct.

Also, interchanging with the Sandringham line would be a definite plus. As with the proposed interchanges on the Northern Loop (Craigeburn and Upfield) I think this would add so much more convenience and traveling efficiency for commuters, without having to add ridiculously to the cost.

I'm not sure which route I prefer of the two that are suggested beyond St Kilda, though I do agree that a route lower down from Dandenong Road would be beneficial.
  ppiglet Chief Train Controller

Any route that goes past St.Kilda Junction (with a new station there that stretches to the Sandringham line) would be a massive benefit to this city.

The only concern I have is in the CBD area: the route up St.Kida Rd.  

Absolutely, the Domain and Parkville are the 2 dominant destinations, but Flinders St and Melbourne Central?

I understand there is good argument for it, the main one being providing 2 exits for passengers into the city instead of just one.

But the biggest argument against it is they're leaving out the jewel in the crown: Southern Cross Station.

It has ALL the connections, to regional, intracity, intercity and buses, not to mention the plethora of tram routes and access to the biggest growing part of the city, Docklands.

If the route went via Southern Cross Station there is a number of benefits:
1. No need to tunnel deeply under Citylink
2. Connections (as mentioned) and promote growth at Docklands
3. Opportunity for our first station at Southbank/South Melbourne (to promote growth there)
4. Opportunity to continue the tunnel through to Clifton Hill or Upfield or Epping line and privide stations not only at Parkville, but Nth Carlton and Nth Fitzroy.
5. The Sunbury and Melton lines would go directly underground just before Nth Melbourne and feed into the underground at Southern Cross.

This route appears to me to maximise the use of the tunnel, therefore providing more bang for the buck, and provide growth and more access to the fringe of the CBD.  Isn't that what we're trying to do?  Expand the CBD and access to it?  Or does a future city of 7 million just cram all its CBD into the curent Hoddle Grid and along Swanston St from Melb Uni to Domain?

I can see the benefits of both routes, but it appears to me the Southern Cross option has so much benefit I don't know why they aren't seriously considering it in their costing at this point as a serious option.

Encouraging an even greater mass passenger exit at just Melbourne Central and Flinders St, when there is already a mass of access there, appears a little short sighted, when the job should be to look ahead 50 years and see where most of the passengers will want to go: a CBD that stretches in a circle from Sth Yarra to South Melbourne to Docklands to Parkville to Fitzroy
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
But the biggest argument against it is they're leaving out the jewel in the crown: Southern Cross Station.

It has ALL the connections, to regional, intracity, intercity and buses, not to mention the plethora of tram routes and access to the biggest growing part of the city, Docklands.

If the route went via Southern Cross Station there is a number of benefits:
1. No need to tunnel deeply under Citylink
2. Connections (as mentioned) and promote growth at Docklands
3. Opportunity for our first station at Southbank/South Melbourne (to promote growth there)
4. Opportunity to continue the tunnel through to Clifton Hill or Upfield or Epping line and privide stations not only at Parkville, but Nth Carlton and Nth Fitzroy.
5. The Sunbury and Melton lines would go directly underground just before Nth Melbourne and feed into the underground at Southern Cross.
"ppiglet"


1. I agree that, in isolation, avoiding deep tunelling (and the associated cost) would be a benefit (note the "in isolation" caveat)

2. Connections directly to regional rail would be great BUT see my response to 4 & 5

3. Again, in isolation, this seems a reasonable idea. These growth areas do lack a heavy rail connection.

(In reverse order)

5. One of the main benefits of tunnelling from Dynon, rather than "just before North Melbourne" is that it frees up additional capacity for the "more than 14 trains each hour on the Craigieburn, Sunbury, Werribee, Williamstown and Upfield lines." (from the Vic Gov website) By tunneling before North Melbourne, this benefit would not be maximised. If the Gov't were to build the tunnel so that it could interchange with all four of these lines (a station between Kensington and Macauley), then the access to Southern Cross from the tunnel would effectively be provided, without the need to re-route.

4. This tunnelling would add significantly to the projects' cost, as the tunneling from Dynon can't really be avoided (as discussed above). I can also see how Calrton Nth and Fitzroy Nth stations could be beneficial, as well as the capacity the tunnel would free up for Epping and Hurtsbridge lines, but as part of Stage 1 and 2 it seems just too much. Perhaps building a new feeder tunnel from Clifton Hill to Parkville could be a good stage 3 or 4 thing in the Long term?
  lomlate Locomotive Driver

Has anyone got some links for the uninformed? I've seen a few maps on age articles but they seem out of date? What's the updated version of what the government is planning to do?
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
Has anyone got some links for the uninformed? I've seen a few maps on age articles but they seem out of date? What's the updated version of what the government is planning to do?
"lomlate"


This site gives the Government's general overview of the current proposal. It has the key facts and a basic line-alignment map. There's also a few concept designs for the stations (see the link at the top right of the page) which are a nice bit of eyecandy!

EDIT: Just another question for everyone to ponder: Do you think that the proposed Northern tunnel entrance after Footscray up to the city (somewhere around South Kensington Station) is the best option? Personally, I think some more thought needs to be put in to the future capacity constraints at Footscray Station. Although the new Tarneit link frees up capacity on the Werribee and Williamstown lines between Werribee and Yarraville/Newport stations, all V/Line trains will then re-converge with this traffic at Footscray. The RRL proposal indicates that a new dedicated line will be built for V/Line trains through the North Melbourne and So Cro approaches, but it is difficult to see how V/Line services and sparks will be able to be effectively separated at Footscray without a major re-think.

So, in light of that, my opinion is that either:
A) the new Metro Tunnel needs to start somewhere around Middle Footscray, with an underground platform at Footscray station. This would free up capacity for V/Line services on the existing above-ground platforms, which would be shared with Werribee and Williamstown sparks OR

B) The new RRL needs to be tunnelled in the same fashion as the proposal above, with underground platforms serving V/Line, and above ground serving sparks. This tunnel would then re-surface up to the city just over the Maribyrong River, onto the newly-constructed RRL track to Platforms 15 & 16 at So Cro.

What are your thoughts?
  John_Proctor Train Controller

Option B is what is going to be built.  RRL will be in tunnel past footscray station.

I'm unsure if there'll be platforms at Footscray fro the regional trains though.
  Kerpal Deputy Commissioner

It would be better to bulldoze the existing Footscray station and put the extra tracks through at ground level.  There's plenty of space either side of the station that can be reclaimed from the car parks as well.

This project is a good excuse to get rid of Middle Footscray as well.
  John_Proctor Train Controller


Absolutely, the Domain and Parkville are the 2 dominant destinations, but Flinders St and Melbourne Central?
"ppiglet"


If Domain and Parkville are the two dominant destinations the simplest/fastest/cheapest way to connect them is by drawing a line between the two down Swanston St past Central and FSS.


I understand there is good argument for it, the main one being providing 2 exits for passengers into the city instead of just one.

But the biggest argument against it is they're leaving out the jewel in the crown: Southern Cross Station.

It has ALL the connections, to regional, intracity, intercity and buses, not to mention the plethora of tram routes and access to the biggest growing part of the city, Docklands.

I can see the benefits of both routes, but it appears to me the Southern Cross option has so much benefit I don't know why they aren't seriously considering it in their costing at this point as a serious option.

"ppiglet"


SXS is just on a different route alignment then anything that relates to opening up St Kilda Road.  Anyone using this Tunnel will have multiple opportunities to change to an SXS train line.  Footscray, Caulfield, FSS, Melbourne Central.  

In the future the alignment of a tunnel running from say Clifton Hill across the northern end of the city via Fitzroy/Cartlon/Parkville to Southern Cross makes sense as a differnet tunnel.   who knows eventually it might be connected to a Doncaster train line.  On other forums I've seen such a line then extended via Port Melbourne to Newport and connecting to the Werribee Line.  (avoiding the need for Werribees to 'do the loop' up to the Maribyrnong River bridge via Footscray).


Encouraging an even greater mass passenger exit at just Melbourne Central and Flinders St, when there is already a mass of access there, appears a little short sighted, when the job should be to look ahead 50 years and see where most of the passengers will want to go: a CBD that stretches in a circle from Sth Yarra to South Melbourne to Docklands to Parkville to Fitzroy
"ppiglet"


the fact is that even if you 'expand the CBD' in the long term its still likely 50% of the peak hour patronage on the line will be wanting to get off in the existing 'square mile' CBD grid.  Central and FSS are the two most centrally located station with King Street to Spring Street being wihtin the 800m walkable catchments of the stations.  and obviously many connecting trams on La Trobe, and Flinders to get into Docklands.

In a similar vein its worth pointing out that its about 1.5km from FSS to Domain - The Southbank/South Melbourne Precinct east of Kings Way will all be within the walkable catchment of those two stations. and with te existing connections from Domain (route 55 along Kings Way to William Street), FSS (Route 1 along Sturt Street), SXS (routes 109/96 and 112) you've got excellent PT access to South Melbourne anyway.



Regarding the mention of hte Caulfield-Dandenong at grade section you will note in the attached brochure from the Victorian Transport Plan website
http://www4.transport.vic.gov.au/vtp/pdfs/melb_metro_rail.pdf

that Stage 2 includes consideration of Caulfield to Westall (although no mention of what that might look like).    I guess they are aware of the problem but not necessarily what the solution is at this stage.
  Robbb01 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Shhhh!
I know this might be a massive waste of money, but do you think a station at the Bourke Street Mall would be beneficial?
It's only the cities main shopping destination...although it is quite close to Flinders and Melbourne Central.
And also, I agree that the tunnel should go down Balaclava Road. And if it is to surface at Oakleigh, It should pass Chadstone.
  Flinders_Flyer Chief Train Controller

Location: Greensborough
The platforms for MC, Bourke and Flinders would probably be touching if that were the case  Shocked
  Speed Minister for Railways

The reasons why you would put one there are not so much the shopping but more:
  • the destinations on Bourke Street that attract peak hour passengers
  • the trams along Nicholson, Brunswick and Smith Streets


If the tunnnel's avoiding Spencer Street (likely) and Parliament, passengers for those tram routes will need to reach Bourke Street somehow.
  bbowring Locomotive Fireman

Location: Melbourne (though my home is Northern Tasmania)
I know this might be a massive waste of money, but do you think a station at the Bourke Street Mall would be beneficial?
It's only the cities main shopping destination...although it is quite close to Flinders and Melbourne Central.
And also, I agree that the tunnel should go down Balaclava Road. And if it is to surface at Oakleigh, It should pass Chadstone.
"Robbb01"


Yeah, I agree that Bourke St would be a good place for a station in theory, but the North-South orientation of the platforms on the line would make the stations VERY close together!
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around
I know this might be a massive waste of money, but do you think a station at the Bourke Street Mall would be beneficial?
It's only the cities main shopping destination...although it is quite close to Flinders and Melbourne Central.
And also, I agree that the tunnel should go down Balaclava Road. And if it is to surface at Oakleigh, It should pass Chadstone.
"Robbb01"


Yeah, I agree that Bourke St would be a good place for a station in theory, but the North-South orientation of the platforms on the line would make the stations VERY close together!
"bbowring"


Chances are there would be a Collins Street exit from Flinders Street Underground (at the north end of the platform), and likely there would be a Lonsdale (or potentially Bourke if you wanted to) exit from Melbourne Central pl 5 and 6.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
I know this might be a massive waste of money, but do you think a station at the Bourke Street Mall would be beneficial?
It's only the cities main shopping destination...although it is quite close to Flinders and Melbourne Central.
And also, I agree that the tunnel should go down Balaclava Road. And if it is to surface at Oakleigh, It should pass Chadstone.
"Robbb01"


Yeah, I agree that Bourke St would be a good place for a station in theory, but the North-South orientation of the platforms on the line would make the stations VERY close together!
"bbowring"


Chances are there would be a Collins Street exit from Flinders Street Underground (at the north end of the platform), and likely there would be a Lonsdale (or potentially Bourke if you wanted to) exit from Melbourne Central pl 5 and 6.
"tomohawk"

At the moment, you can get from Melbourne Central station to Bourke street without even going outside. Walk through Myer! =D

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