Libs’ twin rail pledge

$307m to ex­tend dou­ble track

Herald Sun - - NEWS - BRIT­TANY SHANAHAN brit­tany.shanahan@news.com.au @Brit­t_Shana­han

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.

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