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Duplicating single metropolitan train tracks must be a priority for the upcoming State Budget

Duplication of existing single-track sections of the Hurstbridge line from Greensborough to Eltham network is a cost effective and efficient way to increase much needed capacity on our rail network.

State Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish MP says the development of a duplication is an ideal way to preserve and leave intact the historic Eltham trestle bridge.

“The bridge is a key landmark in Eltham and the only wooden trestle bridge in Melbourne.”

“The historic bridge built in 1902 provides a scenic view of Eltham as is treasured amongst the community. It is an important landmark to preserve.”

Railway duplication also helps improve punctuality and reduces instances of cancellations, station skips, and bypasses by eliminating the need for trains to wait for their turn to use the single track. It keeps trains moving – and keeps commuters moving.

Our metropolitan rail network has a number of capacity restraining, bottle neck creating single track sections which Labor has been slow to fix. This State Budget should fund obvious duplication works.

Urgent, long overdue works include:

· Duplication of the Belgrave line between Ferntree Gully and Upper Ferntree Gully;

· Duplication of the Lilydale line between Mooroolbark and Lilydale which could be incorporated into the current level crossing removal works;

· Duplication of the Alamein line between Ashburton and Alamein;

· Duplication of the Hurstbridge line from Greensborough to Eltham in a way to preserve and leave intact the historic Eltham trestle bridge; and

· Duplication of the Upfield line between Gowrie and Roxborough Park, including connection to the Craigieburn line to provide an important cross connection for regional services.

All these duplications of existing metro rail have a high impact in terms of increased efficiency and reliability, providing a better service for commuters.

This focus on “completing the network” should feature in the State Budget to be delivered on 24 November.

Ms McLeish continues, “We cannot afford to wait forever to “complete” the Melbourne metropolitan rail network.”

“These projects would help provide the massive boost to construction activity and jobs the Commonwealth has called upon the states to unlock.”

“Funding to rapidly commence these critical rail duplications must be provided in the State Budget on 24 November. Anything less means Daniel Andrews simply is not serious about Victoria recovering as quickly as possible from his botched COVID induced recession,” Ms McLeish concludes.


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