Early works on the Mernda rail extension have been cranked up a notch, with crews recently beginning to drill along the proposed route.
The geotechnical drilling, which involves boring a series of small holes deep into the ground to extract soil and rock samples, began late last month.
The information obtained will provide a better understanding of the ground conditions in the area and inform the way the new line is designed and built.
Yan Yean MP Danielle Green, who inspected the works in Mernda last month with Mill Park MP Lily D’Ambrosio, said the government was getting on with the job.
“These investigations are critical to building the new line, which will deliver train services to the heart of our community for the very first time,” Ms Green said.
The $588 million extension is being built by John Holland and is expected to be in operation by 2019. It will include eight kilometres of new tracks from South Morang to Mernda, and new stations at Hawkstowe Parade, Marymede Catholic College and Mernda.
New walking and cycling paths will also be included as part of the project, as well as better bus connections and train stabling at Mernda.
There will also be extensive bike storage and as many as 2000 new car spaces shared between the three new stations.