Monday, December 1, 2008

Is this a hint of a leak?

From the Herald-Sun website:

Rail project fast-tracked

THE Brumby Government has fast-tracked a major northern suburbs rail project in a move designed to appease commuter angst and unclog the embattled train network.

The Clifton Hill track duplication will be finished early next year - 12 months ahead of schedule.

The Hurstbridge line has only a single track on the existing bridge over the Merri Creek between Clifton Hill and Westgarth stations.

Once finished the additional track on the Hurstbridge line will remove the bottleneck of backed-up trains that has been occurring on the single track for years.

Commuters on the line will get faster travel times in addition to the recent increase of services.

Long-suffering strap-hangers in Melbourne's booming Whittlesea growth corridor have been pushing for a rail extension from Epping to South Morang since the Bracks Labor government promised it in 1999.

It has been put off, delayed and sidelined several times.

When Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky unveiled the Clifton Hill project in February with a 2010 completion date she said it was a higher priority than the South Morang extension.

But the revelation of an early finish to the Clifton Hill project has sparked hopes the South Morang extension will be included in the Brumby Government's transport plan - expected early next month.

An experienced train driver, who wished to remain anonymous, yesterday told the Herald Sun work on the new bridge was well ahead of schedule and on track to be finished in January.

"It'll be up and running and commissioned at least 12 months ahead of what the Department of Transport says on its website," the driver said.

A senior Labor source told the Herald Sun the South Morang extension was odds-on to be included in the transport plan.

Ms Kosky's spokesman, Stephen Moynihan, said the minister was very pleased the work on the upgrade had progressed so well, but would not commit to a revised completion date.

The issue I have with the story is that the bridge duplication was meant to also free up train services on the Epping Line. Fingers crossed the mention of the South Morang extension may result in more frequent services on the entire Epping Line.


Anonymous said...

Despite these minor advances, the Department of Transport - as Paul Mees has exposed - is about as competent for the job as a pack of Sweet and Sour crisps.
This project should have been completed three years ago; instead, some weird (and useless) thing called Eastlink was constructed...resulting in...well...Transurban giving away land due to "poor customer goals". I smell a rat, nay, an otter.

Incidentally, I hope you didn't vote for Antoine Karem in the council elections; the guy has as many policies as Oman has polar bears.

dam buster said...

RVB - i agree that DoI and DoT have been slow to move on Public Transport. Myki and the "little bit" faster trains have been gross failures in project management.

You have to remember with EastLink that there is no public money invested in it as it is entirely privately funded.

Also TransUrban do not control EastLink, they look after CityLink and ConnectEast look after EastLink.

The fact that no government money was used on EastLink could have allowed the State Govt to look at investing more into other things.

dam buster said...

Oh and no I did not vote that way you suggested!

I am all for anyone to have a go if they are keen but hate the fact that half the field are labour cronies.

Anonymous said...

Even if they have no policy, and a reputation for being in bed with Labor? Although I can't substantiate it, a friend of mine who knows what goes on in Gower Street believes Karem is up to no good.

But it's a shame that 70% of the candidates were from the ALP.

dam buster said...

Well RVB, Karem did not get in. See the post from today.

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