Outer Circle Railway
The outer circle railway was a steam era suburban line built in 1890. It ran from Fairfield through to Alamein. Unfortunately, the line ran only for 3 years and was shut down progressively between 1893 and 1895 due to the depression.
The section of line between Camberwell and East Kew was re-opened in 1900 and the Deepdene Dasher, a service powered by a steam locomotive and with 2 carriages ran every hour and an half. Railway electrification in Melbourne commenced in the early 1920s and those in charge decided to leave part of this line out due to low numbers. The decision was reversed south of Camberwell, however the line between Camberwell and Fairfield stayed rail only.
The age of steam was however only to last a few more years, with the steam Dasher finally succumbing to modern technology and the last steam hauled service ran on August 15 1926.
Replaced by 2 AEC Railmotors, it was intended the the line be electrified if patronage increased and it was "warranted". This never happened, and just over 12 months later, the passenger service on the line was discontinued and replaced by a bus.
Good services still ran along the line up until the line was closed finally on September 6 1943.
The Trail Today
The old line follows from Fairfield down, through the old APM Paper site (which operated until the early 1990s as a freight access line). The Chandler Highway bridge uses the old railway bridge and it is possible to start there, but the pedestrian and bicycle track really starts on the Kew side of the Freeway.
The paths are well trafficked by bicycles, joggers and dog walkers alike so make sure that you take notice when approaching the cache.
Note: use your powers of observation to prepare for the OCRP Mystery Cache...