First trains to South Morang
Major works on Melbourne’s $498m South Morang Rail Extension project have reached completion, with trains now running on the new South Morang line.
Victorian minister for public transport Terry Mulder said the 3.5km South Morang extension marked the biggest expansion of Melbourne’s rail network since the City Loop partially opened in 1981 – 31 years ago.
“The extension of the line from Epping to South Morang is the first expansion of Melbourne’s rail network in more than a generation,” Mulder said.
“This rail extension [from Epping to South Morang] and the changes we’ve made as part of the new timetable will provide greater public transport access for thousands of locals and help people get to and around the South Morang area,” Mulder said.
Works carried out as part of the project included new stations built at Thomastown, Epping and South Morang, and the duplication of the 5 kilometre single track between Keon Park and Epping.
The project also delivered a host of improvements to the area including improved car parking facilities, transport interchanges and adjoining shared-use paths in the 18 months since construction commenced.
Mulder boarded the first train to the new South Morang station on Sunday April 22, which marked the rollout of Melbourne’s overhauled public transport timetable. The new timetable features 353 new weekly trips including a major upgrade to weekend and public holiday services on Melbourne’s three most popular train corridors.
Trains will run every 10 minutes to Ringwood, Dandenong and Frankston for much of the day, in a major step towards a high-frequency metro-style timetable.
Weekday peak-time trains will have a frequency of around eight minutes on the South Morang line, with 70 extra weekly trips also added to the South Morang and Hurstbridge lines.
The Craigieburn, Werribee, Sydenham and Upfield lines will be changed to run clockwise through the city loop on weekends, helping footy fans get home more quickly from Etihad Stadium.
The timetable will also take advantage of the recently delivered 38 new X’Trapolis trains.
The project is being delivered by an Alliance comprising the Department of Transport, Metro Trains Melbourne, VicRoads, constructor John Holland and designer AECOM.
For a detailed profile on the South Morang Rail Extension project see the June print edition of Rail Express.
8th - 9th May 2012 | InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto
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