The Upfield train line must be duplicated between Gowrie and Upfield stations and extended to Craigieburn and Wallan as soon as possible, according to a new northern suburbs transport alliance.
The recently formed Upfield Transport Alliance is using the state election to put pressure on politicians to improve the quality of services on the Upfield line, which has been plagued by short-shunting of services, leaving commuters north of Coburg stranded.
In September alone, 35 trains were short-shunted – a term for when trains are turned back before reaching their final destination.
Upfield commuters also face long waits between trains, with services running at 18-minute intervals during peak periods.
The line has just eight morning and eight afternoon peak services – the lowest on the network.
The Upfield Transport Alliance, which brings together transport groups and residents associations from Hume and Moreland, recently held a rally at Upfield station to draw attention to their campaign. It was attended by about 100 people.
Alliance member and Broadmeadows resident Sheriden Tate said Upfield commuters were without access to “high quality” transport.
“It’s ludicrous in this day and age that you have a single track line [from Gowrie to Upfield],” she said.
“If there is a cancellation, you have got a long wait for the next train. I’ve had issues with my kids when they were younger going into the city and trains being cancelled.
“As a parent it is very stressful.”
Ms Sheriden, who is also the Greens candidate for Broadmeadows, said the alliance believed extending the line to Craigieburn and eventually Wallan, via Somerton, would make a big difference to people living in the north.
The group also wants a station to be built at Campbellfield in the near future.
The station is included in the Greater Broadmeadows Framework Plan which was created by the Victorian Planning Authority and Hume council, but won’t be built for 15-20 years.