Victoria Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne
1 Million Passengers Use Mernda Rail Extension
Victor P Taffa
More than 1 Million passengers have used the $600 Million Mernda Rail line, 9 months on from the extension opening.
Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne and Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green today visited Mernda railway station where passenger trains were returned by the Andrews Government last August for the first time in 60 years.
“Last year we brought passenger trains back to Mernda for the first time in 60 years, 1 Million trips in 9 months show this was the right thing to do.” Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne said.
Mernda rail extension has provided passengers in the Plenty Valley, 3 more railway stations, more trains more often and better bus links, with the number of people using the line increasing by nearly 50 % since opening.
Passengers travelling from Mernda to the city have access to:
- 982 services every week,
- 6-8 minute service frequency in the peak,
- 2 new bus routes introduced to coincide with the opening of the rail extension,
- 7 realigned bus routes introduced to coincide with the opening of the rail extension.
“We’re providing services where they are needed most and changing the way people live, work and travel in Melbourne’s growing northern suburbs.” Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said.
Mernda rail extension and Plenty Valley Bus Network have given residents of the growing northern suburbs and surrounding areas, more and easier ways to travel with almost 2,600 passengers using Mernda Station each day and 1,000 trips at both Hawkstowe and Middle Gorge stations.
This has meant 5,000 car trips have been diverted from roads each day since the Mernda rail extension opened.
Cycling to railway stations, on newly constructed paths is also proving popular with close to 1,000 people using the bike storage facilities at South Morang and the 3 new stations, with almost 400 of those at Mernda.
Work to improve safety and deliver more trains on the Mernda line is continuing with 5 level crossing removals and 3 new stations at Reservoir, Bell and Preston to be completed by the end of 2022.
Planning for the second stage of the Hurstbridge Line Upgrade is also underway with construction expected to begin in early 2020 delivering more improvements including, a new station and bus interchange at Greensborough, more train services, less crowding on peak trains and better connections.
Restoring The Whittlesea Line:
Trains operated to Whittlesea until 1959. Thankfully the rail corridor was preserved that will enable a reconstruction of the Whittlesea Line with railway stations rebuilt to modern standards.
Population levels in the area continues to grow with pressure on government to restore rail services to Whittlesea.
Whittlesea Line stations following the opening of the 3 stations can also include Yan Yean and Whittlesea.
- Yan Yean
- Middle Gorge
- South Morang
Naming of Railway Lines:
Names of railway lines are usually for those being the name of the last station on the line.
Until 1959 the line was named as the Whittlesea Line. Only recently Epping was the last station on the line and so the line was named as the Epping Line.
Then the line extended to South Morang and so the line became named as the South Morang Line. Now the line has been extended to Mernda.
Restoring the line to Whittlesea will relieve pressure on the surrounding road network and enable the line to be once again named as the Whittlesea Line.