Federal cash for rail extension


THE federal government has promised $225 million to extend the metropolitan train line from Frankston to Baxter.

The money is due to be announced in the federal Budget tonight, Tuesday 8 May by Treasurer Scott Morrison, part of $7.8 billion for new roads and rail lines in Victoria.

Other projects include North East Link tollway between Greensborough and Bulleen, a rail line between Monash University’s Caulfield and Clayton campuses, the Airport Rail Link, duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, and duplication of Princes Hwy between Traralgon and Sale.

Electrification of the line between Frankston to Baxter was first proposed in the 1920s.

The first “Frankston line” service – Caulfield to Mordialloc – opened in 1881 and the line reached Frankston the following year but was not electrified until 1922.

The line to Baxter was opened in 1888 and used steam and later diesel locomotives including to this day. Two lines starting at Baxter were added in 1889 – to Mornington (closed 1981) and to Stony Point via Somerville, Tyabb, Hastings, Bittern and Crib Point.

The federal government provided $3 million to the state government last year to prepare a business case, which is expected to be completed by early next year.

Proponents of the line are asking for a new station to service Frankston Hospital and Monash University’s Peninsula campus as well as stations at Karingal and Langwarrin, two of Melbourne’s most car-dependent suburbs with 37,000 residents.

A 1000-space commuter park and ride next to a Langwarrin station has been mooted.

Other extension benefits include freeing up car parking in Frankston’s CBD that is taken by train commuters, creating a reliable backbone for public transport in the region, and getting cars off congested arterial roads and Monash Freeway.

First published in the Western Port News – 8 May 2018