Category Archives: public transport

Consultation on Camp Road Level Crossing Removal (implications for Upfield bike path)

Looking north up the railway line at Camp Rd Level Crossing

Loomking north up the railway line at Camp Rd Level Crossing

Today I went on a scouting trip along the Upfield railway line to Camp Road, the site of a level crossing removal to start in the later part of 2017 and be completed by 2019.

I have come to the conclusion:

The Upgrade of the Camp Road level crossing needs to include either a tunnel for cyclists as part of the railway in trench design, or pedestrian lights to allow cyclists to cross Camp Road in safety.

The consultation and community engagement is at The Meadows Greyhound Racing track.

  • Monday 6 February 2017, 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The Meadows, 80 Northcorp Boulevard, Broadmeadows.
  • Saturday 11 February 2017, 10:00am to 12 noon. The Meadows, 80 Northcorp Boulevard, Broadmeadows

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Extending the Tram through Fawkner – Moreland Council Survey

Sydney Rd Median strip between Major and Lynch Rds

Sydney Rd Median strip between Major and Lynch Rds


Moreland Council have announced a Survey on extending Sydney Road tram through Fawkner. This is gratifying to see, although it is just the first step in a campaign to have the No 19 Sydney Road tram service extended past it’s present Bakers Road, North Coburg terminus.

In November 2014 we argued it was time to Extend Route 19 tram to Fawkner and Campbellfield. There is a strong argument that the tramline should be extended to the Campbellfield shops, and build a public transport interchange linking the tram terminus with the Upfield train line (which also needs upgrading to dual track and electrification to Craigieburn) and east west bus routes along Mahoney’s Rd/Camp Road. (Bus interconnect includes: 902 – Chelsea – Airport West SMARTBUS Service, 530 Campbellfield – Coburg via Fawkner, 531 – Upfield – North Coburg via Somerset Estate, 538 Somerset Estate Broadmeadows via Camp Rd)

This would add substantial amenity to residents in Fawkner and Hadfield in accessing a range of shopping centres, including the Campbellfield shops. It would also add amenity to the various motels along Sydney road in Fawkner, encouraging their patrons to leave their cars parked and travel through Moreland by tram and train.
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Plans for Upfield train line reopening to Craigieburn

Upfield train approaching Gowrie Station
It seems the Upfield service is in for an upgrade under the Andrews Labor Government, to service suburbs further north and join up with Craigieburn. This will make the line more efficient.

Some nice reporting by Adam Carey in the Age on June 5, 2016: Not the end of the line: How people power saved the Upfield rail line. At the end of the article news of reopening the extension to Craigieburn.

Buried in the detail of the 2016-17 state budget is $5 million towards reopening the line north of Upfield through industrial Somerton, to connect it to the Craigieburn line.

That stretch of the line was shut in 1956 but will be reopened within five to 10 years so V/Line’s Seymour trains, which currently run on the congested Craigieburn line, can use the Upfield line instead.
Reopening the line will pave the way for Seymour line commuters to get a train every 20 minutes in the peak. Public Transport Victoria’s rail plans are that eventually the Upfield line will be electrified all the way to Wallan, just beyond the city limits.

It’s a long-term plan that gives Mr Dow immense satisfaction to see.

The community campaign to save the Upfield line put four key proposals to government, one of which was to extend electric trains to Craigieburn via Upfield.

Now we just need the Number 19 tram extended along Sydney Road up to Campbellfield like we have argued for.

Time to Extend Route 19 tram to Fawkner and Campbellfield #vicvotes

Extending the No 19 tramline to Gowrie Station in Fawkner has been proposed by the Greens this election. It is part of an initiative to fill missing tram links amounting to an extra 56 kilometres around Melbourne at a cost of about $840 million.

Rather than trams terminating midway between focal points, it is suggested they be extended to meet train stations or shopping centres to improve their functionality and intermodal usefulness.

The proposal for adding a number of tram extensions to the network is not new. The Public Transport Users Association have had plans for several years which they continue urging policymakers to adopt. The Greens proposal for 17 tram line extensions totalling an extra 56 kms was initially unveiled in July 2014.

The Greens also advocate the purchase of another 50 locally built E-Class trams to also alleviate some of the pressure on Melbourne overcrowded trams, especially in the northern suburbs. The Greens cost the extensions at about $15 million per kilometre as against the cost of $1 billion per kilometre for East West Link. Some have raised ‘Can the Greens tram plan be taken seriously?‘ (Alan Davies, Crikey) yet public transport commentator Daniel Bowen argues that Tram extensions: Not as expensive as some claim.

Other than the Route 19 tram, the Route 112 tram extension along Gilbert Road to Edwardes Lake Park, then up Edwardes street to terminate at Reservoir Station also makes a lot of sense to me enhancing intermodal connections. The other routes I’ll leave to others to discuss the merits of.

You can read the Greens tram initiative, routes and maps yourself.

What I want to talk about further is extending the No 19 tramline to, and perhaps past, Fawkner.

Route 19 Tramline extension

The Greens proposal for Route 19 involves extending the tram track up the middle of Sydney Rd to Fawkner Shops (via Gowrie Station). The map seems to indicate it would terminate in the centre of the road near Gowrie Station rather than actually connect to the Fawkner shops in Bonwick street. Taking the tram tracks down Jukes Rd might be a little problematic.

Greens-proposed-tram-extn-Route-19

I would not stop this extension at Gowrie but continue it further across the Western Ring Road and Mahoneys Rd to the Campbellfield shopping centre precinct. This makes enormous sense and provides better public transport and pedestrian access from Fawkner to the Campbellfield shops and avoids the morass of bitumen and cars on the Sydney Road intersections with Western Ring Road and Mahoneys Road (a real nightmare when on foot)

That strip of Sydney Road in Fawkner also features several motels catering to visitors to Melbourne, including the Meadow Inn Hotel-Motel, Hume Villa Motor Inn, Ibis Budget Fawkner, and the Fawkner Star Motel. A tram line on Sydney Road would encourage those visitors to leave their cars in motel car parks to catch the tram to Coburg, Brunswick or even into the city or to the Campbellfield shopping Centre.

The population of Fawkner and Hadfield are also increasing with more medium density sub-development so the tram extension would also cater to this population growth.

Upfield rail line needs upgrading to allow increased services

The railway Stations of Gowrie and Fawkner provide a wide catchment, with many people driving and a few cycling to these stations to commute to work.

The Upfield rail line is already operating at near capacity during peak periods with an increased frequency on this rail line overdue. There is a case for duplication of the track to Craigieburn and electrification from Upfield to Craigieburn to close a loop and enable more freqent service.

Upfield train approaching Gowrie Station

Greens candidate for Brunswick Tim Read suggested at the Moreland Transport forum that the duplication of the Upfield line past Gowrie and possible electrification of the existing track to Craigieburn would close a transport loop to Craigieburn and allow greater capacity and frequency of services on the Upfield Line. He was the only candidate at this forum to raise this potential.

The extension of the Sydney Road tram to Campbellfield would make a real difference in alleviating pressure on the capacity of the rail service to meet peak demand, while increasing public transport patronage.

Trams are especially efficient for smaller journeys and this tramline extension would help connect those living in Fawkner and Hadfield to other urban focal points in Campbellfield, Coburg and Brunswick.

Intermodal connection with High Speed Rail at Campbellfield

The tram extension to Campbellfield would also be a useful intermodal connection to the proposed Melbourne North station at Campbellfield on the preferred High Speed Railway alignment that uses the Upfield rail alignment (underground from Gowrie to Southern Cross). (See High Speed Rail – Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development – Chapter 4 on Alignment and station locations)

There are those who say this tramline duplicates the Upfield rail service, yet both services are popular and well used. It is likely any extension would increase public transport patronage.

The Northern suburbs of Moreland could sure do with a little bit more public transport infrastructure.

Secure Bike Parking at Fawkner Station but Gowrie Station still needs to be zone 1

Secure Bicycle parking at Fawkner Station installed

Secure Bicycle parking at Fawkner Station installed

Fawkner Station now has a secure bike cage for those who choose to cycle to the station and take the train. The parkiteer security bike parking cage was launched by Moreland Mayor Oscar Yildiz, State Transport Minister Terry Mulder, and Christine Campbell MP for Pascoe Vale on July 1st.

Cr Oscar Yildiz said in the council media release “Moreland residents love their bikes and now they can travel to Fawkner station and have peace of mind that their bike will be secure and undercover,” Cr Yildiz said. “This is a brilliant example of a joint government initiative that will make people’s life easier and more sustainable in their daily commute.”
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Money for East west link, but no cash for surfacing Merlynston Station carpark

Merlynston Station (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Merlynston Station (Photo: Wiki Commons)

The State Government has just handed down it’s 2013 budget. As expected, there is little for public transport, or meeting it’s own environmental election promises. Instead we see more support for brown coal which contributes to climate change, and to major road projects like initial funding for the east west link which will result in a public-private partnership and a privately managed tollroad which you and I will pay to travel on. The Metro rail tunnel and other badly needed rail network extensions have been effectively shelved by the current Government.

It hurts even more when the State Government ignores basic maintenaince and simple upgrades which benefit public transport commuters. Melbourne’s inner middle northern suburbs residents are calling out for existing station car parks to be resurfaced, at the cost of several thousand dollars, to avoid injuries such as broken ankles sustained from potholes in the gravel carpark surface.
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Local MPs agitate for Rezoning Moreland’s north for public transport fare zone 1

Upfield train approaching Gowrie StationBoth local state MPs, Christine Campbell representing Pascoe Vale and Bronwyn Halfpenny representing Thomastown (which includes Fawkner), have moved motions this year in State Parliament to rezone Moreland’s northern suburbs to be entirely within public transport zone 1. This is a particular inconsistency which often affects local residents on short public transport trips in the north of the municipality.
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Moreland Council election 2012 North East Ward Questionnaire on sustainability and environment for candidates

Update: Election results – Moreland Council gets a shakeup
Update: Candidate responses as of Monday 22 October.

Moreland Council Wards

Moreland Council Wards

Moreland Council election is occurring with polling day on Saturday 27 October 2012. In North East ward of Moreland Council covering the suburbs of Coburg, Coburg North and Fawkner we get to elect 4 councillors from the 24 candidates standing. You can check the candidate contact details on the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).

Representative democracy is a sham without the views of candidates being made available for voters to be informed. If your like some of us, you like to know who you are voting for. With very little public exposure of candidates views, Sustainable Fawkner wanted to canvas the opinions and policies by candidates on sustainability and environmental issues which we are concerned about. Replies will be collated and published on this page as a public service to electors for North East Ward.
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No extension of Zone 1 to Gowrie Station in Baillieu 2012 budget

Time for Gowrie Station to become Zone 1

Upfield train approaching Gowrie Station

Gowrie Station remains as a zone 2 station after the State budget was handed down on May 1. Local residents of Fawkner and Hadfield have been pressing for Gowrie Station to be changed to Zone 1 status in a campaign over the last year.

In January Bronwyn Halfpenny, the local State member for Thomastown who represents Fawkner in State parliament, called on Transport Minister Mr Terry Mulder to tell Fawkner residents why “they must pay zone 2 public transport fares from a rail station that should clearly be in zone 1”. She explained in a news article in January 2012 in the Moreland Leader that Gowrie’s zoning is an anomaly and an inequity to local residents.
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