News and events

Public Transport Victoria releases blueprint for rail network

27 Mar 2013

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) today released its blueprint for the expansion of the metropolitan rail network including a program of operational changes, track duplications and extensions, new trains and stations, high capacity signalling, and new stabling and maintenance facilities.

The Network Development Plan - Metropolitan Rail (the plan), is based on a detailed analysis of current and forecast demand across the rail network, including a line-by-line breakdown of expected increases in demand.

PTV Chief Executive Officer Ian Dobbs said the public release of the plan and detailed patronage forecasts was an important part of PTV’s role to plan for the development of the rail network.

The plan is consistent with and builds upon the State’s priority projects outlined in its submission to Infrastructure Australia and incorporates major extensions which are the subject of current planning studies.

Key highlights of the plan include:

  • Regular timetable and operational changes to get the most out of the existing network
  • The implementation of ‘metro-style’ operations, with stand-alone, independent lines  with their own trains, stabling and maintenance facilities
  • New stabling and maintenance facilities at Lilydale, Baxter, Pakenham, Calder Park, Greensborough, Wyndham Vale and Mernda 
  • Eliminating single-line sections through duplication of tracks to Eltham, Cranbourne, Seaholme, Rosanna, Lilydale and Melton
  • Major rail extensions including the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel, and extensions to Melbourne Airport, Rowville and Doncaster
  • Electrification of the network to Melton, Baxter, Geelong and Wallan
  • The progressive roll-out of modern high capacity signalling and high capacity trains.

“This is a comprehensive, integrated strategy which details all of the areas needed to grow the capacity and the reach of our rail network – operational and timetable changes, track duplications and electrifications, major extensions, high capacity trains and signalling, and new stabling and maintenance facilities,” Mr Dobbs said.

“With train patronage expected to double by 2031, Victoria cannot afford a piecemeal approach to planning and developing projects.

“We need a logical sequence of investment in all areas of the network, not just new tracks. New tracks are just one part of a far more comprehensive picture which is not well understood and seldom talked about in public debate on our rail network.

“I believe this plan represents the most comprehensive strategy for the development of Melbourne’s rail network in more than 40 years,” Mr Dobbs said.

The initiatives outlined in the plan would provide capacity for an extra 50,000 people to travel in the peak period within ten years and capacity for an extra 130,000 people in the peak hour within 20 years.

Mr Dobbs said that in establishing PTV, the State Government had set a clear statement of expectations around the need for better planning to extend the reach and capacity of the rail network.

“The development strategy released today is underpinned by detailed, evidence-based planning and patronage forecasts about the whole network – not just one or two mega projects,” Mr Dobbs said.

“Obviously not everyone will agree with the staging of some projects, but I would encourage people to first examine the evidence and the rigorous demand forecasts which support this plan.”

The plan, associated patronage forecast report and rail plan animation are available at


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