Any extension beyond the present Cranbourne terminus is going to require a complete rebuild of the old easement. While it's status is "booked out" and not "closed" the difference is semantic since it is impossible to run a train over the route. Much of it (all the way to Nyora where the SGR then has running rights) is beneath bitumen, earth, overgrown vegetation or has simply rotted away. Recent road widening at Cranbourne East has effectively removed the road - rail crossing there meaning that would require grade separation as well as the South Gippsland Hwy crossing at Cranbourne.
Clyde retains its village atmosphere for now but not for much longer. Houses are being built at a rate of knots which will see it subsumed into the continuous suburbia which now extends all the way from Narre Warren North and will soon extend out to Five Ways and Devon Meadows.
It is a damning indictment of our several layers of government that such a huge expansion has been permitted without in-built public transport provision. Buses in the City of Casey are among the least frequent and least-direct anywhere in the Melbourne region. Clyde itself has only two trips on a one-way loop on school days. That is not a useable service in any meaningful context unless you happen to be at school in Cranbourne. There are few or no links between the major centres and Casey Hospital, Casey Central (a misnomer if ever there was one) shopping centre, Cranbourne railway and through the new growth areas. There are expensively-provided rail link buses running almost 24 hours a day which take slow and indirect routes through unlikely routes (Hunt Club Bvd surely can't generate that much traffic? ) which could be replaced by taxis and still have empty seats.
Yet the government who insist on perpetuating this wasteful provision cannot fund direct and regular links through the new houses which they authorise in order to offer residents a way of reaching shops, schools, employment and connecting to the railways. In short we are driving (pun intended) the car-dependent society and with families often requiring two cars just to cope with competing needs of employment and education.
The Bracks "promise" to return trains to Gippsland should have been delivered upon. The cost would have been high but it would have reinstated the line at a time when it could have been done more readily than is now the case. Trains across open country don't upset anyone. When the houses came the trains could have already been there. Instead there may be a NIMBY backlash if or when the line is reawakened out to Clyde which in my opinion is not likely to happen any time soon. Instead a pathetic excuse of a bus service might be offered, found to be little-used and that fact proffered as "evidence" that no demand for a railway existed.