Time to Duplicate the Upfield line with Brunswick level crossing removal

The Premier announced today that 8 level crossings would be removed in Brunswick on the Upfield Line between 2023 and 2027.

This will entail significant commuter disruption, but is a welcome addition to upgrading the Upfield Line.

During construction of the elevated track would be an ideal time to complete the duplication of the track from Gowrie Station to Upfield Station. A new station could also be built at Campbellfield at the same time.

We call on the Andrews Government to duplicate the Upfield line concurrent with constructing the 8 Brunswick level crossing removals.

There are presently two bottlenecks on the Upfield line limiting the service frequency to about 20 minutes.

The Upfield line presently shares the city loop limiting capacity. The Metro tunnel when it opens in 2025 or 2026 will fix this bottleneck.

At the other end of the line, single track starts after Gowrie Station to the present terminus at Upfield Station. Upfield station is presently a single track station. Duplicating the line between Gowrie and Upfield and upgrading Upfield station to a double track platform would resolve the bottleneck at the terminus, and also increase reliability of the train service.

There also needs to be an upgrade of heavy rail public transport in the northern transport corridor.

The Craigieburn line is presently a 10 minute service and is approaching capacity later this decade. Extending the Upfield line along the Somerton rail link to Roxburgh Park and Craigieburn would defray extra commuter demand at Craigieburn station.

The Suburban rail network currently ends at Craigieburn. Further electrification and extension of dual track from Craigieburn to Wallan should be in the planning stage to serve the growing residential suburbs in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

The Andrews government had a report commissioned in 2018 for $5 million on the Somerton Link. This report has not been made public.

References:

Premier of Victoria media release, 19 september 2022, Eight More Dangerous Level Crossings To Go By 2027 https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/eight-more-dangerous-level-crossings-go-2027

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