Monday, 12 March 2007

Putting Melbourne's Trains Into Orbit

As with most cities, Melbourne's train map looks like the spokes of a wheel with all tracks leading to the downtown Melbourne. This however, doesn't support the large number of journeys that don't require a journey downtown.

The route should be an approximation of a circle with a 15 to 18-kilometre radius centred on Flinders Street Station. It could run Sandringham, Moorabbin, Huntingdale, Monash University, Glen Waverley, Nunawading, Macleod, La Trobe University, Thomastown, Broadmeadows, Melbourne Airport, Keilor Plains, Deer Park and Newport. For circle closure and to avoid unnecessary reversing, the circle trains could continue from Newport to Flinders Street to Sandringham and the reverse.

To get some idea of the relative attraction of this route, consider a couple of journeys from Box Hill, to La Trobe and Monash universities respectively. The best public transport times on this route are an hour and a half to La Trobe and 55 minutes to Monash, and either can take a lot longer. With the new orbital railway completed, Box Hill to La Trobe would come down to 20 minutes and Box Hill to Monash would take less than 15 minutes. Both universities could find better uses for the vast area now devoted to car parks.

I've always felt that this could be a solution in London as well with a railway following the M25 with stations where the track crossed lines into London.

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