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Rail experts see need for dedicated Gippsland line

A group of rail experts has recognised what the Andrews Labor Government fails to see – the need for a dedicated line for Gippsland trains through Melbourne.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien welcomed the report of the Rail Futures Institute which proposes a South East FastLine between Southern Cross and Dandenong to cater for V/Line Gippsland services and express metro trains.

Mr O’Brien, who has campaigned for a dedicated line for Gippsland services for years, said the idea was one possible solution to the problem of congestion in Melbourne’s south east.

“I’ve been campaigning for a number of years now for a dedicated track for Gippsland trains which regularly get stuck behind metro trains after they reach Pakenham delaying services and causing frustration for our commuters.

“The Nationals took a policy for a dedicated line to last years election but the Labor Government has shown no interest in even undertaking feasibility works.

“The Melbourne Rail Plan 2020 to 2050 produced by the Rail Futures Institute gives an idea of what could be achieved.”

Mr O’Brien said Gippsland’s train performance would only continue to suffer as Melbourne grows and additional metro services are added if a solution isn’t found.

“The Rail Futures Institute’s proposed South East FastLine is an interesting concept which would allow express journeys through the use of tunnels and a third track through some of the congested areas of South East Melbourne.

“It’s astounding that the opposition can see the need, Gippsland commuters can see it, Gippsland’s local councils can see it and now rail experts can see it but the Andrews Labor Government continues to ignore the need.

“V/Lines reliability and punctuality performance on the Gippsland line is appalling and won’t get any better until we address this issue.

“The Rail Futures Institute has put up one suggestion - it’s time for the Andrews Labor Government to now look at a genuine solution for our regional train woes.”

The complete report can be found at - https://www.railfutures.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/15329_MRP2050main_FinalPages.pdf

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