A notorious single-track section of the Hurstbridge line will be duplicated with a new rail tunnel to enable faster, more frequent and more reliable services for Melbourne’s north east.
Under the plan, funded in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, $140.2 million will be invested to duplicate 1.2 kilometres of single-track between Heidelberg and Rosanna, with a new tunnel to be constructed alongside the existing tunnel in Heidelberg.
Power and signalling will be upgraded as part of the works to enable more trains to run on the corridor.
The existing single track in this section limits the number of trains that can run during peak hour, as they are forced to wait for trains coming in the other direction.
Building a second track will allow trains to run in both directions at the same time, which will enable more frequent, reliable services for thousands of passengers along the line to Melbourne’s north east.
This major upgrade is in addition to the removal of two dangerous and congested level crossings on the Hurstbridge line at Alphington and Rosanna.
Planning will aim to coordinate construction on the level crossing removals and duplication so both projects can be delivered quickly and efficiently, with fewer disruptions to passengers while work is carried out.
As part of the plan, the Level Crossing Removal Authority (LXRA) will also undertake the planning work on possible future rail duplications on sections between Greensborough and Eltham, to further boost services.
This package of works will be delivered by the LXRA. Construction will start before the end of the year and be finished by 2019.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The single section of track between Heidelberg and Rosanna, and the two level crossings, are relics of the past. They simply don’t belong on a modern transport network.”
“The outer north is growing. That’s why we’re fixing this notorious bottleneck on the Hurstbridge line, and extending the South Morang line to Mernda. We’re serious about better services for the outer suburbs.”