When originally constructed the railway to Whittlesea commenced from Spencer Street and ran via Royal Park, the Inner Circle through North Carlton and North Fitzroy before joining the present line crossing the Merri Creek bridge. Eventually a more direct route was built from Collingwood through to Princes Bridge but for a time Whittlesea services continued to operate via Royal Park. After some time passenger services were routed via the more direct path whilst freight services continued along the Inner Circle.
Electrification of the Whittlesea Line commenced in the early 1920s reaching as far as Reservoir. Electric services started to replace steam hauled services from this time with diesel railcars running between Reservoir and Whittlesea. Several stations along the line contained freight yards and several "stopping places" existed in the outer reaches of the line in addition to stations.
Electrification reached Thomastown by the late 1920s and was extended to Lalor by the late 1950s. Wooden poles were used to support overhead wires to save on costs. With the electrification to Lalor came closure of the line beyond this point however a service to Epping was restored in the early 1960s which was also electrified. Freight services to Whittlesea finishes a few years before the passenger service. The rails remained in place beyond Epping until the early 1970s when they were removed leaving only the former right of way which still exists today.
As the metropolitan area has now gorwn beyond Epping, several attempts have been made in recent times to restore the railway further towards Whittlesea. Following the election of the Bracks Government in 1999 a promise was made to restore the service to South Morang, however to date nothing has been done. Restoration of the railway to Mernda is also identified in the Strategic Transportation Study undertaken by the City of Whittlesea in 2002. A proposal also exists for a spur line to be constructed to Epping North.
The current operation of the Epping Line consists of an electric passenger service to Epping operated by Connex. There are no goods services on the line but a train maintenance facility exists on the up side of Epping Station. A short section of disused track still remains on the down side of Epping station crossing Cooper Street which had been used as a siding.
Princes Bridge Station
West Richmond Station
North Richmond Station
Victoria Park Station
Clifton Hill Station
Yan Yean Station
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