Are you suggesting that the Napoleon Road route was likely to be the planned route, or that it should now be the route? If you are suggesting the former, then when this line was proposed (back in the 1960s, if not earlier), Napoleon Road, if it even existed, ran through paddocks. The creek route would have been closer to development along Ferntree Gully Road, the Mountain Gate estate, etc.
I am suggesting that the Napoleon Road route was likely to be the planned route. I think that the line was first proposed when the planning for the suburb of Rowville was initiating. It was mainly referred to as the Rowville railway, so a line through the middle of that area seems most likely, particuarly considering that Napoleon Rd still appears to have some kind of reservation along it.
John of Melbourne wrote:
That's another one that I never saw a map for. In fact I never saw too many maps at all!
The only sort of map I saw was some kind of newspaper illustration that was not much more than a black line on a white background with the word ROWVILLE on it, most uninformative.
John of Melbourne wrote:
Proposed lines that had land reserved for them, which was later sold off (with one exception) that I am aware of are as follows:]
Huntingdale - Fern Tree Gully
Glen Waverley eastwards
A direct route from Frankston to Mornington
Altona to Westona (this was the one that was actually used) [/quote
The Rowville line and the Doncaster look to be the most immediately necessary but my main interest is in what land was sold off. I wonder exactly what has been sold off on the East Doncaster route, I worked operating earthmoving machinery on a new subdivision at the site of what was to have been the terminus, the intersection of Blackburn Rd and King St.(circa 1986) The streets we built left space for this terminus and AFAIK nothing has been altered since.
About the time of the election of the John Cain Jr. Labor govt. an enthusiasm for "light rail" was developing. This was siezed upon by their politicians in particular, as a panacea for all public transport problems. It was seen by them (and some of their opponents) as some kind of brilliant new idea, when it fact it was just developing the existing Melbourne practice of running trams on a reserved pathway. It was promoted as a better and far cheaper alternative to heavy rail when in fact it was nothing of the sort.
This style of tramline can be a little cheaper in that lighter rails can be used and it can follow the topography more closely thus saving on earthworks, also being more suited to running on the median strip of contorted roadways. These factors help with cheapness but also lead to nastiness in that speeds are restricted, similarly a signalling system is not
needed, less cost, less speed ! Such lines are suitable to continue on shared roadways and so have a different wheel profile restricting them to speeds of less than 80 kmh. Freight operations present no great problems with heavy rail either.
If a line such as the Alamein line was thought to need some desirable characterics of light rail such as more frequent stops and service frequency, then it would be easier and cheaper to run trains of no more than three cars in peak hours and build some extra short platforms for more stops. A few single car vehicles could be built for off peak and you could do anything that a so called "light rail" conversion could do, with the advantage of being compatable with rest of the suburban rail system.
I see the best way to make full use of the Alamein line is extending it to connect with Eastmalvern and Oakleigh, wherever its trains run through to is immaterial. The problems of the golf course, freeway and Eastmalvern station would be easily solved with a modern, light looking, long concrete viaduct extending to the south of Waverly Rd. An odd tree might have to be removed in rail reserve beyond there upsetting the NIMBYs and perhaps Riccardo and his mates. The loss of this tremendous "urban forest" could be more than compensated for by ploughing up the Monash Freeway and planting it out The alternative of tunneling south of Alamein and having a station underneath Chadstone would give a more direct link to Oakleigh but looks a lot more pricey and would be difficult to connect with the Glen Waverly line. The original route goes almost near enough to Chadstone and at least those old stanchions will do more than carry a feeder cable to Alamein. Thinking back now they may been single track type, I mainly remember noting that the earthworks had been basically first built to carry 2 tracks
Cheers armchair urban planners,