A high-capacity automated monorail to Doncaster from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne as part of the Melbourne Skyrail proposal.

Innovia 300 interior (Bombardier Transportation)
Bombardier Innovia 300 - one of several monorail train options. (Bombardier Transportation)
  • Eight-carriage trains every three minutes: Providing the long-awaited high-capacity public transport link to Doncaster from the Melbourne CBD.
  • More Clifton Hill Line Trains: This monorail option does not use the Clifton Hill line from Collingwood. More trains can be added to the existing rail lines.
  • Beats the Doncaster Rail Option: A high capacity monorail is a more cost-effective option than the proposed Doncaster Rail Line which we discuss below.


Our current cost range estimate is about $900 million for all monorail components. This estimate is to be further refined by ongoing analysis.


Resident Benefits

Home-owners near the monorail line receive the following benefits depending on their proximity to the monorail track:

  • Removal of overhead power and other wires which are to be relocated underground.
  • A daily payment during construction of the monorail outside their properties.
  • A monthly payment for the life of the monorail system related to ticket sales for residential property within 20 meters of the track. This is anticipated to be between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars per annum depending on proximity to the track.
  • A vegetated tree-way under the monorail track and extra trees along the sides of the street where possible.
  • Extra public transport in their area.


Approximate Route

Two possible routes for this monorail are proposed. A northerly route via Melbourne University and a southerly route via Albert Road.

Click into the map to zoom in on particular segments.

View Doncaster Monorail in a larger map
Approximate route of the Doncaster Monorail (Two possible routes are shown)


Destinations and Connections

  • Southern Cross Station: How exactly this monorail would connect to other monorails (Airport, Highpoint and Chadstone monorails) would depend on which line was built first.

Albert Road Route Option

  • Melbourne Central Station: The monorail platforms would be placed above the pedestrian bridge between Myers and Melbourne Central.
  • Parliament Station: This provides another connection to the rail network and the east-end of Melbourne.
  • North Richmond: Replacing North Richmond railway station.

Parkville Route Option

  • Haymarket Station: The monorail platforms would be placed above the roundabout with connections to the tram lines.
  • Melbourne University Station: Above Tin Alley.
  • Carlton Station: With connection to the Nicholson Street trams.

Victoria Park - Doncaster

  • Victoria Park: Interchange with Victoria Park railway station with space left over for a major redevelopment of vacant land on this site.
  • Yarra Park: Servicing the North Melbourne Institute of TAFE and Embling hospital and providing easy access to the park land.
  • Chandler: Interchanging with bus services running along the Chandler Highway.
  • Kew: Interchanging with bus services running along Belford Road.
  • Burke Road: Interchanging with bus services running along Belford Road.
  • Bulleen Road: Interchanging with bus services running along Bulleen Road.
  • High Street: Interchanging with bus services.
  • Doncaster: Doncaster shopping centre with capacity to extend further east later on.
The Chongqing Metro Train China (Hitachi)
The 75km Chongqing Metro Train China (Hitachi). Not a theme-park ride!


Travel Times

The high-capacity monorails under consideration have a maximum operating speed of 80 km/h. Assuming 10-second dwell times* at the stations the following travel times are likely:

  • Flinders Street - Doncaster: About 18 minutes (~18 km).
  • Flinders Street - Clifton Hill: About 4 minutes (~4 km).
  • Clifton Hill - Doncaster: About 14 minutes (~14 km).

(*Similar to dwell time for trains and flat-floor trams.)



Monorail capacity is discussed here. This monorail link should use eight-carriage monorail trains from the outset to achieve a carrying capacity of over 15,000 passengers per hour per direction.


Possible Extensions

  • Extension West: At the Southern cross end the monorail could be extended to the western suburbs or the airport.
  • Extension East: At the Doncaster end the line could continue along Doncaster Road as far as required.


Doncaster Rail Line vs. Doncaster Monorail line

Doncaster Rail Options (The Age)
Doncaster Rail Options (The Age)

Recently two Doncaster rail options have been produced:

  • $840 million: According to a study by transport experts from Curtin University, RMIT, and engineering firm Arup a 12 km rail line from Doncaster to Victoria Park railway station in Collingwood could be built for $850 million. This is cheaper than the monorail option as the monorail needs to go all the way to the city as monorail passengers would be unable to fit on trains at Victoria Park.
  • $11,000 million: This option is from the government which argues a rail tunnel is needed from Clifton Hill to Flagstaff as the Clifton Hill loop will not be able to take the extra trains from Doncaster. The government option does not go to Doncaster but to a car park.

The monorail option has several advantages over the rail options:

  • The monorail option does not interfere with rail operations and runs directly into the CBD.
  • The monorail can be more easily be extended east than a rail subway.
  • The monorail option is far cheaper than any option involving a tunnel.

More on the Curtin-RMIT-Arap study

The Curtin-RMIT-Arap study also proposes spending an extra $M300 link to link to the proposed Melbourne Metro tunnel. This also has several issues:

  • The Melbourne Metro is estimated to cost $11 billion for 9 km or ~$1,200 million per km. It is 2 km from Victoria Park to Parkville so how would this cost $300 million?
  • If the Doncaster line terminated at Parkville passengers would find it difficult to board trains for the city in peak hour as they would all be full at that point.
  • If the Doncaster services continued on through the tunnel to the city then throughput of the Melbourne Metro would be reduced.