The railway line that never was

With its alignment sign-posted as part of a rail trail, the former existence of the Rosstown railway is well known. It ran from Elsternwick station to Oakleigh Station, through Carnegie just to the north of Oakleigh Road, and was built to serve the Rosstown sugar works

(see here). Having been completed in 1883 it was never used (save perhaps on one occasion), and sat idle until it was ripped up in 1916 and later the land sold off. As detailed in this guide to the rail trail published by Glen Eira council, although the rails and sleepers are gone, left behind are many reminders of the Rosstown railway. One of them may not be with us for much longer. The North Road grade separation will involve removal of the overpass on the Frankston line over Dorothy Avenue in Ormond. It was originally built to take the then Mordialloc railway over the Rosstown railway. More information about the Rosstown Railway can be found here on Wikipedia.

Although it may have never been put into service, at the least the Rosstown railway was built. There was to be another in Carnegie, never built, which had a greater influence on how streets of Carnegie were laid out. Ever wondered why the streets to the west of Koornang Road have a curved alignment, and why they include one called Railway Road that is nowhere near a railway? It is because of a proposed line from the Rosstown railway up to the Dandenong line. You can see the planned alignment, and the reservation of land in the block bounded by Neerim, Mimosa, Rosstown and Toolambool Roads, in the following plan of subdivision which dates from 1879. You will recognise most of the roads, with a couple of exceptions – one will be Warrain Road, because it was later re-named North Road.

Rosstown Junction Railway

You can find a higher resolution version the web-site of the State Library, together with the real estate agent’s remarks. To the south of Neerim Road the alignment became … Railway Road.

3 thoughts on “The railway line that never was

  1. That map is excellent!
    I read the Rosstown Railway book many, many years ago, but I don’t recall it ever had the loop line marked in. I do remember some of the Rosstown Railway cuttings (now filled in) in South Caulfield in the early 60’s
    Perhaps it’s time that Carnegie should revert to it’s former name, Rosstown?
    Thank you, and keep up the good work.

  2. Really interesting post.thanks very much for sharing this. I recently moved to the area from London and own a property in Buckley Street. I’ve really enjoyed finding out about rosstown and this is just great.

  3. Fortunately they altered the scope of the level crossing project and the Dorothy Ave underpass has remained open!

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