Unclogging Melbourne’s rail network

The Clifton Hill rail bridge project to unclog a major bottleneck on Melbourne’s rail network is progressing well, Victorian Premier John Brumby has said.

Mr Brumby said the $52 million project saw the first 22 holes bored to support the second bridge over the Merri Creek between Clifton Hill and Westgarth stations.

When completed, the bridge is expected to provide additional track capacity and improve reliability on the Epping and Hurstbridge lines.

“We know our metropolitan rail network is more popular then ever before and that is why works such as these add extra capacity and remove pressure points help cater for more growth and services,” Mr Brumby said.

He said the infrastructure project also provided a major boost to the state’s labour market.

“Our top 20 infrastructure projects either currently underway or delivered in the past year have created more than 17,500 direct jobs for Victorians,’ he said.

“Well over 300 people will be working on the Clifton Hill project and…several thousand CBD workers will use the new rail bridge every single day when it’s complete.”

The Clifton Hill project forms part of the state’s $20 billion infrastructure upgrade plan over the past eight years. This year, the State Government has allocated an additional $4.4 billion for infrastructure projects.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said 35,000 passengers use the Epping and Hurstbridge lines each weekday and the project would deliver significant benefits to commuters on both lines.

“Duplicating the track between Clifton Hill and Westgarth station will remove this bottleneck and commuters will see the improvements in the on-time reliability and efficiency of trains,” Ms Kosky said.

“It will also allow more morning peak train services in future and will lay the foundation for the extension of the Epping line to South Morang.”

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