Melbourne’s besieged train system will reach capacity within three years, a study has found.
MELBOURNE’S besieged train system will reach capacity within three years and needs a significant overhaul to cope with population growth, a study has found.
Influential city lobby group, the Committee for Melbourne, has issued a dire warning that if action is not taken, commuters face chaos in the years to come.
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The report found:
NEXT year, the Werribee/Williamstown and Frankston lines will reach capacity. It will happen to Craigieburn, Upfield and Sunbury lines by 2016;
PASSENGER numbers are expected to more than double by 2031 on metropolitan rail;
UPGRADING signalling systems is vital to allow trains to travel closer together; and
ONLY 30 per cent of Melburnians have access to a local train network.
CFM chief Kate Roffey said little had been done to fix ongoing issues.
“We must remember our train system, in terms of reach, has changed very little since it was primarily completed back in 1901,” Ms Roffey said.
“Since then, the only major outward extensions have been the Hurstbridge (1912) and Glen Waverley (1930) lines.”
Ms Roffey said the City Loop was the last major piece of urban rail added in 1985, which “ironically has become an inhibitor to the expansion of our rail network”.
The report suggested significant capacity building was needed to remove bottlenecks, and level crossings be removed.
CFM is a leading lobby group whose membership comprises major companies such as BHP Billiton, Melbourne City Council and the University of Melbourne.