Upfield passengers ignored: no plans for track duplication before Metro Tunnel says Minister

In early August we invited Labor MPs Frank McGuire, Lizzie Blandthorn and Ros Spence to our ‘More Trains on the Upfield Line” event in Merlynston.

Frank McGuire sent his apologies. We did not hear back from the others.

We also wrote to Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan to explain why passengers were so unhappy and how an infrequent, unreliable service was disrupting lives.

We sent real stories and photos of affected passengers.

This week we received a disappointing response.

Response from Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan

The Victorian Government under Dan Andrews still has no plans to bring forward duplication of the final 4km of track.

This means that when the Metro Tunnel is complete in 2025 Upfield passengers will experience a fairly minimal increase in frequency, and they’ll continue to be plagued by short-shunting of services at Coburg station because the bottleneck at the northern end of the line (the single track) will remain – and Metro will continue to turn trains around at a crossover near O’Hea Street Coburg.

The Minister and Government could start by seriously reading the latest Rail Futures Institute report which recommended track duplication completed as part of upgrade of the Upfield line with extension to Craigieburn by 2024.

Of course it also means we will continue to put up with the below issues for at least 6+ more years:

Main complaints when we collected petition signatures:

  • Busyness of Craigieburn line means people drive to Upfield and other Upfield stations.
  • Neither line is a good option. One is uncomfortable, the other is uncomfortably unreliable.

Upfield Line:

  • Lack of service frequency (20 mins)
  • Cancellations + aborted services at Coburg
  • Buses are not frequent and don’t line up with trains
  • Car parks fill with people coming from north and west (who avoid Craigieburn line)

Craigieburn Line:

  • The Craigieburn line station car parks are full by 6.30am.
  • The Craigieburn line train is packed with people living to the north of Melbourne’s metro region before it even gets close to the city. No one south has a chance of hopping on.

Please add your voice to ours by contacting the politicians and demanding duplication of the Upfield line be brought forward as a first step to improving this service!

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