Okay, I didn’t see this coming. Orbital rail for the middle ring of Melbourne, announced on Facebook this morning.
Labor say they want to build a 90km suburban rail loop from Cheltenham (by which they appear to mean Southland), Clayton, Monash, Glen Waverley, Deakin Burwood, Box Hill, Doncaster, Heidelberg, Latrobe Uni, Reservoir, Fawkner, Broadmeadows, Airport, Sunshine, to Werribee.
Some of the detail is a little hazy, and would be subject to further study, but it seems to be aimed at hitting the biggest suburban traffic generators that don’t currently have rail.
It’s unclear where (or if) intermediate stops might be located, particularly between the Airport and Werribee. At least from Cheltenham to the Airport would be underground tunnels. The whole project would support a more polycentric city, which makes a lot of sense, enabling cross-suburban trips in a way that Smartbuses don’t quite manage, and help Melbourne develop more jobs not just in its CBD and inner suburbs, but across the greater city.