Frankston railway line to stretch to Mornington under bold new plans
Brittany Goldsmith, firstname.lastname@example.org, Frankston Standard Leader, 1 October 2019
Frankston Hospital would have a station and trains would run to the Mornington Peninsula under a radical plan to get “cars off congested roads” and “free up crowded carparks” in Melbourne’s outer southeast. Here’s what it would look like.
The Frankston line could feature two new stations and extend to the Mornington Peninsula if bold new rail plans get the go-ahead. The Committee for Greater Frankston is pushing for the region to be connected to Melbourne Metro, with a new station at Langwarrin and links to Leawarra and Baxter on the Stony Point line. Baxter station would receive a facelift including a new bus interchange and get a first-class network connecting to the Peninsula.
Other options for the 5km Frankston-Baxter link include shifting Leawarra station towards Frankston Hospital and building new platforms at Jubilee Park.
The lobby group said the link would bring simpler travel to Melbourne for 160,000 commuters and transport 11,000 Frankston Chisholm TAFE and Monash University Peninsula students as reliance on the Stony Point line dwindles. CEO Ginevra Hosking said the Stony Point trains were “extremely inconvenient and unreliable”, with up to two-hour waits for services. Metro data revealed each service carried an average of just 27 people in 2018.
“There was a decision made in 1929 to not extend the Frankston line and it hasn’t been looked at since,” Ms Hosking said.
“This extension will get cars off congested roads, free up crowded carparks in Frankston’s CBD, and create a metro station at Frankston Hospital and near Monash University Peninsula campus.”
The bid has federal government backing of $225 million but needs more than $200 million more from the state government.
Victorian Senator David Van said he was fighting for the “incredibly important piece of infrastructure”. “I won’t let it slide …(the project) is hard fought for and there is strong support for it,” he said. “(Hopefully) we can celebrate the centenary of the stupid decision (not to extend) with the construction … that would be a feather in everyone’s cap.”
The push is one of a number calls for improvement for the busy line, which has failed to meet performance targets each month this year. Frankston had the third worst delivery rate of all metro lines last month at just 85.5 per cent, ahead of only Cranbourne and Pakenham. More than 2100 trains were affected by cancellations, short trips, station skips and loop bypasses.
Ms Hosking said the reinvigorated rail plans had been backed by two new transport infrastructure reports, with the Prosper Australia-Chris Hale Infra Strategy stating the extension could be fast-tracked with progressive funding models. The report called for “trunk corridor upgrades” to run express from Frankston to Melbourne CBD, and proposes the eventual extension of the electrified metro path from Baxter to Mornington and Hastings.
Ms Hosking said both major federal political parties had supported the Frankston-Baxter project for several years. “The rail extension with its many benefits is not guaranteed because extending the line requires both federal and state government support,” she said. “We’re greatly anticipating the release of the overdue business case for the extension.
“The community and transport experts all agree it’s time the state government put this project back on track.”
First Published in the Frankston leader, 30 September 2019