The state government will be proceeding with the Camp Road level crossing removal commencing later this year, with the crossing removed by early 2018. Now is an ideal time to push for track duplication from Gowrie to Upfield and extension of the Upfield Bike Path to Barry Road.
When construction starts, services on the Upfield line can be expected to terminate at Gowrie station, with a bus service to Upfield replacing the train. There is no estimate for when or how long the disruption might take. While service is disrupted would be an ideal time to actually upgrade and improve the rail line and associated bike path.
The level crossing removal at Camp Road involves the train line being placed into a trench and has been designed to allow for the following to be constructed as part of future works:
- a second track on the Upfield line between Gowrie and Upfield stations
- widening of Camp Road to allow for traffic growth
- potential future station at Campbellfield
- the Upfield bicycle path extension.
But why not do the track duplication and bike path extension work concurrently to minimise disruption?
According to the Level Crossing Removal Authority website, the road bridge will have four lanes for traffic as well as a pedestrian and cycle path on each side.
It would make a helluva lot of sense if the track duplication to Upfield station was done at the same time.
It would also make sense to extend the Upfield Bike Path all the way to Barry Road. See Sustainable Fawkner background details on upgrading the Upfield bikepath to Upfield. Currently the Greater Melbourne Cemetery Trust is considering possible bike path options on their land parallel to the Upfield line, in conjunction with Moreland Council.
The Moreland Leader on Monday June 9th, reported on a campaign by Upgrade Upfield Corridor Committee (Facebook) to use the closure of the line between Gowrie and Upfield to duplicate the track.
Calls for new rail link to be considered
by Suzanne Hewitt
A TRANSPORT advocacy group is campaigning to have the train line between Gowrie and Upfield stations duplicated as part of the Camp Rd level crossing removal.
Upgrade Upfield Corridor Committee spokesman Denis Watson said the stations would be closed during the Campbellfield level crossing removal works, providing an opportunity to duplicate the section of track.
He said the committee would lobby Hume and Moreland councils, the Level Crossing Removal Authority and local politicians to include the duplication works when the Camp Rd removal project starts later this year.
“The lack of a duplicated track means that each train service must travel from Gowrie to Upfield and return to Gowrie before the next service can leave Gowrie for Upfield,” Mr Watson said. “This restricts the frequency of services on the line, which currently has an 18-minute minimum.
“It also limits the ability to restore services to the scheduled timetable when trains are delayed for whatever reason, which is a frequent occurrence, thus contributing to the unreliability of services on the line.
Mr Watson also added that “as the line between Gowrie and Upfield will be closed during the level crossing works, there is a unique opportunity to duplicate the line without causing additional inconvenience to passengers.”
Upgrading the Upfield line has been ignored for far too long. Just read Adam Carey’s article in the Age from January 2014 on Single line to Upfield worsens north-west rail woes.
Reinstatement (duplicate track rebuild and electrification) of the Somerton to Upfield link, and Electrification of the Upfield line to Wallan is a needed network extension to service the new suburban developments and increase in population on Melbourne’s new northern fringe. These are already in the Public Transport Victoria 2012 Network Development Plan for Metro Rail.
Where are our local Labour MPs jumping up and down for this work to happen?
Want to lobby your State MP about upgrading the Upfield rail line and bike path? Here are the details:
Frank Maguire is the State MP for Broadmeadows and can be contacted:
Lizzie Blandthorn is the state MP for Pascoe Vale and can be contacted: