Ever wondered why the West Coburg tram terminates at Melville Road and Bell Street intersection? This article in the Argus in 1944 explains that housing commission building needed to be kept within half a mile of the terminus, or the tram line should be extended up Turner and Derby streets.
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.
Both 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.
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.