Vote for the Upfield Train Line

Single track at Upfield station

Dear Upfield passengers, as you are aware – service frequency and reliability is still poor. The Moreland-Bell skyrail has done nothing to give people in the northern suburbs from Flemington to Upfield (and beyond) a decent train service that is comparable to other parts of metropolitan Melbourne.

Unfortunately, the current government continues to claim that the completion of the Metro Tunnel 1 (late 2025) will see 6 services per hour during peak times, instead of the current 3-4.

But with the 4km section of single track from Gowrie to Upfield, this could only be achieved if a train-turnaround point is installed, likely at Gowrie or Coburg. And this would mean only passengers living at these station or south would benefit. Of course, it also means there is no plan/commitment by the current government to extend the Upfield Line into the northern growth corridor where the population is booming.

Those living north of the Metro Ring Road would continue to be highly car-dependent, resulting is growing traffic congestion on roads through Brunswick, Coburg, Fawkner and Campbellfield.

For true frequency and reliability on the Upfield line we need to get the line duplicated and a second platform at Upfield at the minimum, as soon as possible.

At a Pascoe Vale candidate’s forum on Wednesday night it was highly disappointing that the ALP candidate Anthony Cianflone made no commitment to lobby for the needed real improvements to the Upfield Line service.

If his party is re-elected, it has only committed to shutting the Upfield train line for 1-2 years to remove level crossings through Brunswick and completing Metro Tunnel 1, which only solves the line’s city-end bottleneck. The Brunswick level crossing removals would of course be the perfect time to make the above changes; duplication between Gowrie and Upfield to allow a 10-minute service frequency through all northern suburbs.

Similarly at the MTF Transport Forum Brunswick ALP candidate Mike Williams said while duplication was important, it was a different issue. He failed to support resolving the northern bottleneck with duplication concurrent with Brunswick Level Crossing Removal.

Duplicating the Upfield Line in the next term of government would also set the scene for extension of the line, providing transport equity for those living in the middle-outer northern suburbs of Melbourne, which will reduce traffic on streets.

Population is already growing and forecast to reach over 90,000 people by 2031 in the growth areas north of Craigieburn around Kalkallo, Mickleham, Donnybrook, Beveridge and Wallan. The Craigieburn line is also approaching capacity. We need the Upfield line duplicated, and extended via Somerton to Craigieburn and Wallan.

Please take the time over the next week to contact all of those vying for your vote on Nov 26 in both the upper and lower houses and show them that you understand the above, and the consequences of inaction by them and a failure to represent. Ask what commitments they can make to improve the Upfield Line and make it a frequent and reliable train service for the north.

The north must not be taken for granted any longer.

Here is a link to the recording of Wednesday night’s Active Transport Forum, where candidates vying for lower house seat of Pascoe Vale (Moreland Road to Boundary Road) discussed their parties’ plans for public transport, and improved walkability and safe cycling routes to public transport and other local destinations such as shops and schools.

Video -> https://youtu.be/lW4o90veqfY

Who to contact:

Upper house: Northern Metropolitan Region candidates

Lower house: Find the names of the lower-house candidates for the seats of Brunswick, Pascoe Vale, Broadmeadows, Greenvale, Kalkallo and Thomastown here on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidates_of_the_2022_Victorian_state_election

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