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At last some renewed interest in ring rail lines. The original designers of Melbourne's rail network in the 1890s included the inner and outer circles, but the success of the motor car killed these off.
The new rail loop is a vision worth pursuing, but the 30-year wait is not too exciting. Some of the plan's objectives could be achieved at a lesser cost, and much sooner, by restoring the old outer circle line.
The route could be: Heidelberg to Alphington (existing easement); then to East Camberwell (old outer circle surface line); then to Alamein (existing easement), then to East Malvern (tunnel under park) and Neerim (tunnel). Finally, link up with the proposal to Monash and Cheltenham. The proposal's eastern portion could be built later but a bit further out. While we are at it, why not extend the Glen Waverley line?
Michael Hipkins, Richmond
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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