Whittlesea council is ramping up its campaign for a train line to Wollert by calling for federal funding.

Wollert and Epping North residents have long been calling for rail to be extended to their suburbs, with commuters forced to travel to nearby stations or drive to work each day.

Residents frequently report two-hour one-way commutes because of the area’s lack of public transport.

The Victorian Infrastructure Plan, which was released in 2017, recommended investigations into the feasibility of a high-capacity transport link to connect Epping North and Wollert to the rail network commence within five years.

Whittlesea mayor Lawrie Cox said the rail extension would be needed within the next 10 years.

He said the population of Wollert and Epping North was expected to increase by about 60,000 people by 2041.

Cr Cox said the rail extension needed to be delivered before the population boomed so the area was not “playing catch-up”.

“We need the federal government to help make the Wollert train line a reality,” he said.

“The federal government needs to … fund a feasibility study into how Wollert rail fits with other planned rail projects.

“Our residents are telling us the limited access to public transport means they are sitting in heavily-congested traffic, missing dinner with their families and they have no time for sporting or social activities.”

The council is urging residents to add their voices to the campaign by visiting: catchup.org.au/whittlesea