Libs’ twin rail pledge
$307m to extend double track
THE bustling Hurstbridge train line will be duplicated between Greensborough and Eltham if the Opposition wins this year’s state election.
The promise, made by Liberal leader Matthew Guy and Eltham candidate Nick McGowan, will see $307 million pumped into the project, which will increase the frequency of services further down the line and complement recent duplication between Heidelberg and Rosanna.
“We’re locked into it 100 per cent and we believe it will be money well spent,” Mr Guy said. “The duplication has been planned for decades, but never before has anyone committed to finally building it.
“Having grown up in Montmorency, I know how important it is to improve rail services to the northeast, so I am keen to finally see the duplicated line built.”
A new platform, more parking spaces, lighting and shelter will also be built at Montmorency train station. The pledge follows last week’s Liberal Party announcement that it would spend $4 million on an extra 150 parking spaces at Eltham, Montmorency and Greensborough stations.
Mr McGowan said it was a “historic win” for commuters.
“Not since 1888, when the first glimpses of a rail line to Eltham began to emerge, has such an important announcement been made locally,” he said. “It is a key part of getting people back on suburban rail, easing congestion, and helping our environment.
“Extra car parks at stations like Eltham and Montmorency will encourage greater use of our rail system,” he said.
“In conjunction with our intersection removal program, this will help to relieve the huge congestion on Main Road and Fitzsimons Lane.”
Services at Diamond Creek station were labelled the worst on the Hurstbridge line and among the worst in the state by a recent RACV and Leader News survey.
The RACV’s Dave Jones said it was imperative to improve such stations for regular commuters and to encourage more people in growth areas to use public transport and take pressure off the roads.
Mr Guy told the Diamond Valley Leader more rail upgrades would be announced in the coming months.