Duplication of existing single-track sections of the network is the most cost-effective and efficient way to increase much-needed capacity on our trains.

Labor’s Suburban Rail Loop announcement this week is yet another example of Daniel Andrews being too focussed on pie in the sky mega projects that will not start for years and not be completed for decades. 

Duplication also helps improve punctuality and reduces instances of cancellations, station skips, and bypasses by eliminating the need for trains to wait for their turn to use the single track. It keeps trains moving – and keeps commuters moving.

Our metropolitan rail network has a number of capacity restraining, bottleneck creating single track sections which Labor has been slow to fix. 

This State Budget should fund obvious duplication works.

Urgent, long overdue works include:

·            Duplication of the Belgrave line between Ferntree Gully and Upper Ferntree Gully;

·            Duplication of the Lilydale line between Mooroolbark and Lilydale which could be incorporated into the current level crossing removal works;

·            Duplication of the Alamein line between Ashburton and Alamein;

·            Duplication of the Hurstbridge line from Greensborough to Eltham in a way to preserve and leave intact the historic Eltham trestle bridge; and

·            Duplication of the Upfield line between Gowrie and Roxburgh Park, including connection to the Craigieburn line to provide an important cross-connection for regional services.

All these duplications of existing metro rail have a high impact in terms of increased efficiency and reliability, providing a better service for commuters.

This focus on “completing the network” should feature in the State Budget to be delivered on 24 November.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Infrastructure, David Davis:

“Victorians cannot afford to wait forever for Labor to “complete” the Melbourne metropolitan rail network.  

“These projects would help provide the massive boost to construction activity and jobs the Federal Government has called upon the states to unlock.

“These projects would mean Victorians spend less time on crowded trains and more time at home with their loved ones.

“Funding to rapidly commence these critical rail duplications must be provided in the State Budget, if not Daniel Andrews will be exposed as not being serious about Victoria recovering as quickly as possible from his botched COVID induced recession.”