The Upfield train line should be duplicated and extended to Roxburgh Park, and a new station opened at Campbellfield, according to an independent rail advisory group.
Rail Futures released its Melbourne Rail Plan 2020-2050 last week, outlining a number of rail projects it says will be needed across Victoria by 2050.
Among the group’s recommendations was the duplication of the Upfield line between Gowrie and Upfield stations; the extension of the line to Roxburgh Park, where it will connect with the Craigieburn line; and the opening of a new station at Campbellfield by 2024.
It said duplicating and extending the line could increase capacity.
“There is no remaining capacity to operate additional services during peak periods on either line,” the report stated.
“It is proposed to physically connect the two lines at Roxburgh park … this will enable metro trains to operate between the CBD and Craigieburn via Coburg/Upfield or Essendon/Broadmeadows, potentially increasing the train path capacity of the combined corridor.”
The state government plans to duplicate the line in the next 15 years.
Rail Futures is also advocating for the extension of the rail network from Craigieburn to Wallan by 2028.
The Upfield Transport Alliance, comprising transport groups and residents associations from Hume and Moreland, has been campaigning for the line to be duplicated, service frequency increased and the construction of Campbellfield station since last September.
Alliance spokeswoman Jane Holroyd said the report’s recommendations were welcome, but the time lines should be brought forward.
“Passengers are suffering right now,” she said.
“The Upfield Transport Alliance does not believe passengers should have to wait until 2024 to see improvement to service that only duplication can bring.”
Ms Holroyd said the alliance wanted the duplication works to take place next year when the line will be suspended for three months for level crossing removals.