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The Andrews Labor Government’s $600 million Mernda Rail Extension is six months ahead of schedule, with the first test trains to Mernda to be running by the end of September.
Acting Premier and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan, joined Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio and Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green in Mernda today to announce train testing will begin months earlier than expected.
It was a Labor Government that extended the line from Epping to South Morang and the early opening of the new rail line from South Morang to Mernda continues the Andrews Labor Government’s record of delivering major public transport projects ahead of schedule.
To date, the project has excavated more than 21,000 cubic metres of basalt rock from under McDonalds Road and South Morang Station, and new rail has started arriving on overnight rail trains to South Morang.
Over coming months, works will continue on signalling, electrical systems and station buildings, and track will continue to be laid from South Morang to Mernda. In order for testing of trains to begin ahead of schedule, construction will ramp up over the coming months, including extending work hours in some key locations.
The Labor Government also revealed the names of the three new stations today – Mernda, Hawkstowe and Middle Gorge.
Mernda Rail will deliver better transport and facilities for local residents – with three new stations, community and open spaces, better connections for pedestrians and cyclists and improved access overall.
The three new stations are expected to cater for up to 8,000 commuters a day, helping ease congestion along Plenty Road. A new shared user path will connect the stations and provide alternative transport options.
Passenger trains will begin after a comprehensive testing and commissioning period, with details of dates and timetables to be finalised in coming months.
Quotes attributable to Acting Premier and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“We’re getting it done – Mernda Rail Extension is ahead of schedule, creating thousands of jobs and giving people in our fastest growing suburbs the transport they deserve.”
“Work has progressed well and we expect to begin testing trains by the end of September. It’s a wonderful result for communities in Melbourne’s north.”
Quote attributable to Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green
“This is great news for the people of South Morang, Mernda and surrounding areas. I’d like to thank teams here on site who have worked so hard since construction started last April.”
Quote attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio
“It won’t be long until people will be able to catch the train to get where they need to work, school or wherever they need to go – which is exciting for our local community.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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