yes to doncaster rail

It’s time for real transport solutions for the East.

Doncaster Rail was originally proposed in 1890. However, after over a century of patient waiting, residents in Manningham still lack access to train services.

The Labor and Liberal parties want to take up the median strip, preserved for generations for the construction of Doncaster Rail, and build yet more traffic lanes instead. This will quash any future of a rail line from Manningham to Melbourne’s CBD.

Residents have been fighting for Doncaster Rail for over 100 years, will it take 100 years more for the Labor and Liberal governments to see the light?

Manningham is the only municipality in metropolitan Melbourne that relies solely on buses for public transport.

The bus network is collapsing under pressure and residents are left waiting for overcrowded, cancelled and broken down buses that never come. This has contributed to high car dependency. According to the last census:

  • 62.3% of households in the City of Manningham own two or more private vehicles. This is significantly higher to the average figure in Greater Melbourne of 51%.
  • 73% of residents travelled outside the municipality to work. 30% (15,500) of these trips were into Central Melbourne. 
  • Only 13% of total trips were made by public transport, in contrast to 70% of commuters that traveled by car.

Doncaster Rail Timeline

The History of Doncaster Rail

Believe it or not, Doncaster Rail was first proposed in 1890 (that’s not a typo!) and since has led a tumultuous journey and the people of Manningham are still waiting. If the North East Link goes ahead, the Eastern Freeway median strip rail reservation will be destroyed forever, along with any hopes for Doncaster Rail. For more info, come along to our Transport in the East Q&A tonight at 7-8.30pm at Heidelberg Scots Uniting Church. It’s been quite a journey, but it’s not over yet for Doncaster Rail, read more here>

Posted by Samantha Dunn on Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Why the Rail Line

Rail outweighs bus services for many reasons including high capacity, speed, comfort and environmental performance. 

Critically, we know a Doncaster Rail line linking with Doncaster Westfield Shoppingtown, will bust traffic congestion and bring greater visitation to our thriving area.


Doncaster Rails only real obstacle is the lack of political will to deliver the infrastructure.

The 2012 PTV Network Development Plan recognised that, “in the medium-to-long-term, buses will not be able to cater sufficiently to the demand for public transport between Doncaster and the CBD”.

Feasibility studies say it’s needed and the route planning is completed. What are they waiting for?

When can we start

Work on Doncaster Rail needs to start as soon as possible.

The Andrew’s Labor Government needs to commit to including Doncaster Rail as a part of Melbourne Metro 2.

Starting this work cannot wait until the 2026 completion of the Metro Rail Tunnel  – this just gives the old parties an excuse to keep putting it off.

Why doncaster rail?

A heavy rail line to Doncaster Hill is the public transport solution for which Manningham has been waiting. Modelling for the year 2031 suggests that this service would attract around 56,000 passengers per typical week day.

Each train would replace at least 800 cars on the road, freeing up the Eastern Freeway for those who need to use it. The project will consist of a new rail corridor of 12.7 km and 5 potential stations to link the existing Hurstbridge line from Victoria Park Station to Doncaster Hill.

The rail is intended to run along the median of the Eastern Freeway and includes a tunnel in the final section to Doncaster Hill.

The Greens will keep advocating preserve the rail reservation for Doncaster Rail and stop the North East link, to deliver Doncaster Rail before 2030.


more visitors in the next 10 years


cars off the road per train


years we've been waiting



Dear Premier Andrews

We strongly oppose the plans to build any infrastructure that permanently ends any chance of the construction of the Doncaster Rail Line for the people of Manningham. The construction of the Doncaster Rail Line would reduce traffic congestion, and improve liveability and employment opportunities, as well as safeguarding the future of our environment. A century is far too long to wait for this much needed infrastructure.


We call on the Victorian government to:
  • Recognise that there is a great need and desire for the Doncaster Rail Line as Manningham’s population continues to grow.
  • Commit to future proofing the Eastern Freeway’s median strip and retain Doncaster Rail as a viable option.
  • Commence a business case and planning for Doncaster Rail as a part of the Melbourne Metro 2 project.