Until the coming of the railway, the Greater Dandenong area was virtually on the frontier of settlement. Construction started at the Sale end and reached Oakleigh in 1877. After some delay,the link was made with Melbourne and the line officially opened in 1879, midst great celebrations.
The Dandenong station was officially opened in 1881, some two years after completion of the line to Melbourne. It served as a vital link to Gippsland, replacing the need for livestock and produce to be taken by land and sea to Melbourne. Dandenong now acted as the terminus between country and City.
By the early 1880s, Springvale had a station, consisting of a platform and open shed. The first train to stop at Noble Park was about 1915. Electrification of the line between Oakleigh and Dandenong was completed in 1922. The line between Dandenong and Warragul was electrified by 1954 New stations were opened at Sandown in 1965 and Yarraman in 1976.
Lonsdale Street had traditionally acted as Dandenong’s front door, its only entry point to visitors, but with the success of the railway station (by 1889 it had become the third busiest in Victoria) Dandenong now had a side door, drawing a growing number of visitors to this new point of entry to the town and exposing the need for infrastructure to support the Foster Street region in its increase in pedestrian traffic.