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A DREAM more than half a century in the making will finally become a reality, with the duplication and electrification of the Frankston rail line to Baxter.
The Federal Government announced $225 million for the project, first proposed in the 1920s, in last week’s budget.
Currently commuters have to board a diesel train at Frankston to get to Baxter, with only a single track of rail line.
Dunkley federal Liberal MP Chris Crewther said work could start immediately on upgrading the line upon completion of a business case, which was underway.
“Given the funds will be on the table, there’s no reason we can’t start the project very soon after the business plan is finished,” he said.
The business case will cost and plan extending the rail to a new Frankston Hospital station, Leawarra station at Monash University’s Frankston campus, a new Langwarrin station and Baxter station.
The electrification project will create almost 4000 jobs.
Frankston Mayor Colin Hampton said the project would give a huge boost to the local economy and reduce parking congestion at Frankston station.
“This $225 million is extremely welcome and will get the Frankston line on track to future-proof our region,” he said.
Cr Hampton said it was essential that the state and federal governments worked together to complete the project.
Ginevra Hosking, chief executive officer of advocacy group Committee for Greater Frankston, said the project was vital for the area.
Committee president Fred Harrison said the works would transform public transport in the region.
“It will drive job creation, get cars off congested roads, free up crowded car parks, improve prosperity and make better use of assets like Frankston Hospital and Monash University’s campus at Frankston,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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