Hope heightens for rail upgrade revised plan to go-ahead

March 4, 2015 by  

A delayed sign-off on the $2bn to $2.5bn upgrade to the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail line which passes through Narre Warren, Victoria, may soon be given the go-ahead – but with a revised format.

The plan to be introduced along the Dandenong rail corridor was originally initiated by the Napthine government, but was put on hold until after the last state election in November 2014.

It was not known if the resulting change of government would jeopardise the proposed upgrade, which was to include three rebuilt stations, the introduction of 25 high-capacity trains, a new train depot, modern signalling, and four level crossings removed.

The new Andrews government has now been presented with a reworked interim offer by the Rail Transformation Consortium, which is behind the Cranbourne-Pakenham rail project.

Throughout the working week, more than 65,000 commuters travel on the line, which traverses some of the city’s most congested crossings.

It is believed the revised proposal has dramatically cut high-capacity signalling that may have paved the way for a more frequent train service along the Dandenong line.

According to Jacinta Allan, Public Transport Minister, the government plans to buy 30 new trains to service the metropolitan line, remove up to 50 level crossings by 2023, and build Melbourne Metro.

Residents in areas along the Dandenong rail corridor are expected to be advised by flyer printing handouts in advance about any future works.

The Pakenham-Cranbourne rail project was initiated to help avert a looming crisis of congestion on the line in years to come – an issue Tony Morton, president of the Public Transport Users Association, said was a real problem.