Better still, move Surrey Hills to the up end of Union Rd and kill off Chatham and its abnormally huge curved platforms for what probably get 100 passengers a day.
That said, Mont Albert has outlived its usefulness as far as a zonal boundary is concerned. In the old days before the entire suburban system became Zone 1 to the city, Mont Albert used to get more passengers than usual because it was still in Zone 1+2 overlap, so people from Zone 2 proper would try to get a parking spot there or Surrey Hills to save on fares to the city.
It's a shame that close-proximity stations aren't consolidated like the tram stops in the city were, almost every line has That One Station which serves absolutely no purpose aside from being a five minute walk from the next. The Ringwood line has Glenferrie/Auburn, Camberwell/East Camberwell, Canterbury/Chatham, Surrey Hills/Mont Albert and Laburnum/Blackburn. I would add East Richmond to the list but trains rarely stop there (the Glen Waverley line doesn't get so much luck...)
Riversdale/Willison, Heyington/Kooyong, Rushall/Merri, Northcote/Croxton, Westgarth/Dennis/Fairfield (pick one to remain), Alphington/Darebin, West/North Richmond, Collingwood/Victoria Park, Middle/West Footscray, Prahran/Windsor, Jewell/Brunswick, Anstey/Moreland, Merlynston/Fawkner, Glenbervie/Strathmore...
There has to be a powerful reason acceptable trade off to consolidate stations. In this instance the reason is the Level Crossing removal & a marginally better service for Ringwood group pax from Box Hill and beyond. The trade-off for Mont Albert residents who live north and east of the station who have to walk an extra 5 minutes to the station, is that they have access to more frequent services. Forcing pax to walk anymore than 5 minutes to another station is probably a big disincentive.
- Riversdale/Willison: 500m between the 2. Agree but probably not until service frequency increases and the level crossing is removed.
- Heyington/Kooyong: 1.2km. Keep both. Plus Heyington serves all the St Kevs boys.
- Rushall/Merri: absolutely get rid of Rushall but probably not until Metro 2.
- Northcote/Croxton: 600m. Move Northcote north of Arthurton road and remove Croxton. Maybe put an entrance at both end of the platform
-Wesgarth/Dennis/Fairfield: Level Crossing Removal. Remove Dennis. Keep Wesgarth. Move Fairfield a bit closer to Victoria Road and have an entrance both sides.
- Alphington/Darebin: Leave both. Distance is 800m so 10 minute walk and another 10 minute walk to Ivanhoe Station.
- West/North Richmond: they're very close together but I am inclined to leave as is because they both connect to major roads (Bridge Road and Victoria Street).
- Collingwood/Victoria Park: Collingwood is a 5 minute walk from Victoria Park and a 5 minute walk from North Richmond - happy for it to go if patronage is low.
- Middle/West Footscray: I don't know enough about area but distance is 700m so probably fine to keep. also West Footscray is a long distance from Tottenham so another reason to keep.
- Prahran/Windsor: a good 10 minute walk between the 2 stations and level crossings have already been removed. Keep.
- Upfield Line: Jewell/Brunswick, Anstey/Moreland. Moreland is already been rebuilt - correct me if I am wrong? More level crossing removals will be justified once Metro 1 comes online and frequency is increased. Therefore Jewell/Brunswich and Anstey should be come 2 stations, maybe with entrances at both ends of the platforms.
- Merlynston/Fawkner: Maybe consolidate as part of level crossing removals but Gowrie is a fair bit north of Fawkner so probably keep both.
- Glenbervie/Strathmore: I don't know enough about this area.