Sign at bus stop opposite Gowrie Station on Sydney Road
Updated 5th October: with a response from Frank Maguire MP, and response from Level Crossing Removal Authority. Update 9 October with response from Metro Trains re disability access for replacement bus service
Public Transport Victoria and Level Crossing Removal Authority have failed to explain why trains will terminate at Coburg Station instead of Gowrie Station.
Due to Level Crossing Removal activity at Camp Road trains will terminate at Coburg station from 8.30pm Thursday 26 October to the last service on Monday 30 October. A bus service from Coburg to Upfield will replace the train. This disruption will be repeated during November and December.
Unfortunately buses aren’t as friendly for wheelchair users, or for cyclists who use the train. What about people who use mobility scooters? Will they be catered for? These people are particularly negatively affected, as well as regular users of Batman, Merlynston, Fawkner and Gowrie stations.
I don’t see why trains can’t terminate at Gowrie, where there are points north of the station before the M80 bridge allowing a train to go beyond the station then come back heading to the city.
Looking north up the railway line at Camp Rd Level Crossing
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.
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
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.