Lilydale railway line, Melbourne

Lilydale railway line, Melbourne

type = mel
name = Lilydale
yearcommenced = 1859
yearcompleted = 1882
yearclosed =
fate =
lengthkm = 39.9
stations = 21
tracks = 4 (Richmond – Burnley)
3 (Burnley – Box Hill)
2 (Box Hill – Mooroolbark)
1 (Mooroolbark – Lilydale)
users = Connex
servicepattern = Stopping all stations except East Richmond, peak hour expresses
RollingStock = north
connections = Alamein, Glen Waverley, and Belgrave lines
formerconnections = Outer Circle and Kew lines

The Lilydale railway line is a suburban electric railway in Melbourne, Australia. It branches from the Frankston, Pakenham, Sandringham, and Cranbourne lines at Richmond station. It has 21 stations covering both Metcard ticketing Zones.


The Lilydale line runs through Melbourne's eastern suburbs across mostly gentle hills (but with some steeper sections near the end of the line), having few straight or level sections. Earthworks are significant, with deep cuttings at Hawthorn, Camberwell, Heatherdale and near Croydon. Around Glenferrie and Auburn the line has been raised above the surrounding area on an embankment to avoid level crossings of several roads. All but two level crossings have been eliminated between the city and Blackburn (Union Rd and Mont Albert Rd in Surrey Hills), but beyond Blackburn numerous level crossings remain.

Many of the level crossings are with major roads, leading to traffic bottlenecks. From Blackburn to Ringwood, there are level crossings at Blackburn Road, Springvale Road, Rooks Road, Mitcham Road and Heatherdale Road, most within convert|200|m|yd|lk=on of the Maroondah Highway. This means that all major north/southbound thoroughfares over nearly an convert|8|km|mi|0|lk=on|sing=on distance become very slow during peak hour services, repeatedly being stopped for passing trains, and also for trains waiting at the nearby stations. Furthermore, the bottlenecks are mostly unavoidable, because although there are four rail bridges between Blackburn and Ringwood, three of them are residential streets (Laburnum St in Blackburn, Cochrane St in Mitcham and New St Ringwood) while the fourth and only major road is Wantirna Rd in Ringwood, convert|8|km|mi|0|abbr=on from Middleborough Rd in Box Hill, the next major grade-separated road crossing.


From near Richmond, there are four tracks to Burnley where the Glen Waverley line branches off. From Burnley, the line is triplicated to Box Hill then duplicated to Mooroolbark, while the section between Mooroolbark and Lilydale is single track. After Lilydale station is a closed railway line that extends to Healesville.

Automatic block signalling applies throughout the line. The centre track on the three-track section is signalled for bidirectional operation and is used for up trains in the morning and down trains at other times.

Terminating facilities are provided at Burnley (although inconvenient and not normally used), Camberwell, Box Hill, Blackburn, Mitcham, Ringwood and Mooroolbark, as well as Lilydale. Stabling facilities are provided at Burnley (adjacent to the Glen Waverley branch), Camberwell, Ringwood and Lilydale.


The line from Richmond to Hawthorn was opened initially to a temporary terminus at Pic Nic, just short of the Yarra River, in September 1860, and to Hawthorn in April 1861. It was extended to Camberwell in April 1882, then to Lilydale on the first day of December of that year.

Duplication from East Richmond to Hawthorn occurred about a week after the Lilydale extension opened, and two weeks later, the same section was converted to Double Line Block Telegraph safeworking, and the section from Hawthorn to Camberwell had Staff and Ticket working implemented.

In May 1885 Hawthorn to Camberwell was duplicated and converted to Double Line Block Telegraph. Duplication was extended to Box Hill in December 1888.

Automatic signalling was introduced from December 1907 with the conversion of the section from East Richmond to Hawthorn to semi-automatic signalling, followed by Richmond to East Richmond being converted to automatic signalling in August 1919, East Richmond to Camberwell in two stages both in October 1922, and Camberwell to Canterbury the following month.

Electrification took place between Flinders Street and Box Hill in December 1922, and extended to Ringwood the following month, then Croydon in November 1925 and finally to Lilydale in October 1925.

Conversion to automatic signalling resumed in April 1927 with the conversion of Canterbury to Surrey Hills, followed by Surrey Hills to Box Hill in October 1929.

The section from Croydon to Mooroolbark was duplicated in 1957, creating a long crossing loop on this otherwise single-line section beyond Ringwood.

Automatic signalling conversions resumed in July 1958 with the section from Box Hill to Blackburn, followed by Mitcham to Ringwood in September of that year, and Blackburn to Mitcham in November 1960.

Hawthorn to Camberwell was triplicated in December 1963, and the triplication was extended to East Camberwell in November 1964.Richmond to Burnley was quadruplicated in 1966/67, and triplication was extended to Box Hill in December 1971, followed by Burnley to Hawthorn in August 1972.This left a short section of double track on the up side of Richmond, but this was quadruplicated with the construction of a flyover in 1973.

Ringwood to Croydon was converted to automatic signalling in November 1973 and duplicated in June 1984. Mooroolbark to Lilydale was converted to automatic signalling in June 1985.


Normally, all Belgrave and Lilydale trains stop all stations except East Richmond. During the peak, the majority of services run express between Box Hill, Surrey Hills, Camberwell, Glenferrie, Burnley and Richmond. During the peak, a stopping all stations service operates between Blackburn and Flinders Street, to provide services to stations which Belgrave/Lilydale trains often run express through.

Line guide

Bold stations are termini, where some train services terminate; "italic" stations are staffed; and stations with an asterisk (*) are manned only during morning peak.

Branches from the City Loop at "Flinders St" and "Parliament".

Proposals for a station between Mooroolbark and Lilydale, near the intersection of Hull and Mooroolbark Roads, appear to have stalled.


Further reading

* cite book
last = Fiddian
first = Marc
title = Commuters, Shoppers and Scholars - A History of the Melbourne - Lilydale Railway
publisher = Pakenham Gazette
isbn = 0-9596316-7-4

External links

* [ Statistics and detailed schematic map] at the [ VicSig] enthusiast website

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