Test train on track to Mernda in July
21 Jun 2018
A train will arrive in Mernda for the first time in nearly 60 years next month, as the first test train makes its way up the new rail line, in preparation for passenger trains running later this year.
Construction crews have now laid all track along the 8 kilometre rail corridor, allowing the first test train to arrive in Mernda sometime in July, collecting data to inform the new timetable as it travels up the line.
Mernda Rail construction crews have made better than expected progress in the last few months as they have removed rock, installed tracks and built signaling and power infrastructure. Out of hours works in key locations helped crews complete all excavation before the wetter months while reducing the overall length of disruption to the community.
The project team recently celebrated breaking through 25,000 cubic metres of rock underneath Plenty Road, where the new rail line will run from the west to the eastern side of the road. As a result, crews are now laying the final section of track beneath Plenty Road and up to the Lakes Boulevard.
In another win for the community, an additional 40 car spaces are being built at the new Hawkstowe Station, increasing the number of car parks at this station to 397, while an extra walking and cycling path connection has been confirmed for Mernda Rail.
A new connection will extend the project’s walking and cycling path along the northern boundary of the South Morang Station car park, up to the McDonalds Road crossing. This path will create an important link for pedestrians and cyclists accessing the station and will be completed later this year.
To get ready for test trains to safely run on the new line, buses will replace trains between Clifton Hill and South Morang from the evening of Friday 29 June to the last service on Sunday 1 July.
Passenger trains will start running after a comprehensive testing and commissioning period. When the Mernda Rail Extension opens later this year passengers will have access to 982 services every week, with details of dates and timetables to be finalised in coming months.