A HIGH-speed rail shuttle service from Newport to Southern Cross station could revolutionise public transport in Maribyrnong, says deputy mayor Michael Clarke.
Cr Clarke wants the state government to explore using the Newport goods line for a rail shuttle service linking Newport to Tottenham then travelling via Footscray to Southern Cross.
The weekday-only service could run from Newport thorough South Kingsville, Bradmill, Brooklyn, Tottenham, West Footscray, Footscray and North Melbourne to Southern Cross.
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Cr Clarke argues his plan uses "between $200 and $400million of rail infrastructure" sitting idle most of the time.
"It's hundreds of millions of dollars worth of desperately-needed public transport infrastructure available for activation," he said.
"The Stony Point shuttle to Frankston has been doing the same thing for years, with the metropolitan rail service leasing these locomotives from V/Line."
Cr Clarke said the non-electrified service could remove thousands of cars from the West Gate Freeway and Geelong Road by providing another 'park and ride' option.
Regional organisation LeadWest says the proposal may have some merit but risks triggering a range of flow-on effects.
Business and projects manager Craig Rowley said increased rail traffic could create level crossings problems and interrupt existing services.
"Probably the biggest issue is that it would compete for funding with other transport projects in the west and could further delay duplication and electrification of the Melton line," he said.
Mr Rowley said the completed regional rail link should free up metropolitan lines for extra services with existing rolling stock, helping tackle the crush on western suburbs trains.
He said the transport strategy to be released by the Western Transport Alliance next month would outline the area's key transport needs.
Backing Cr Clarke's proposal is Paul DeLutis, who is developing 1300 homes at the Bradmill textile site.
"This would create enormous relief for our local road system," Mr DeLutis said.