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Residents of a Melbourne suburb that has been waiting 125 years for a rail line have just found out they'll have to wait at least another 30.
Doncaster has no rail or tram lines despite plans first being proposed in 1890 and construction actually starting in the 1970s.
Now Infrastructure Victoria has laid down a 30-year strategy for the state and "filtered out" plans for a Doncaster rail line.
"This option has a high cost, and feasibility studies indicate that few people will change to public transport if a heavy rail service were available compared to the existing bus service," Infrastructure Victoria's report says.
Manningham council strategic transport planner Frank Vassilacos said the 30-year strategy was a body blow to the plan to put a 12km line down the middle of the Eastern Freeway.
"If it's not even in a strategy, how do we reserve the freeway median strip for a rail line or even a public transport line and not lose it to more freeway lanes?" he said.
The former Coalition government half-finished a study into the proposal, but Mr Vassilacos says it was flawed because it didn't include updated population data.
With 5000 new apartments going up in Doncaster in the next 14 years, the council predicts freeway traffic will only get worse.
Neither the current Labor government nor previous Coalition government has announced any plans to build the rail line.
Instead the report recommends extending a tram line to Doncaster, which Mr Vassilacos said would take longer than the buses already stuck in peak hour traffic.
He said there was overwhelming support for the rail line but many locals felt cynical about the politics.
"Because it's been on the cards for so long, every time it does get mentioned I think people just feel a bit disheartened," he said.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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