Councillor Long said Infrastructure Australia, the Federal Government’s advisor on national infrastructure priorities, recommended the [Dandenong] Rail Capacity Program receive cash as it had “real potential” as a nation-building project.
She said the council wanted to see extra tracks to provide reliable express services, facilitate V/Line services to the La Trobe Valley and accommodate future freight services as part of the planned container port at Hastings.
“So far, there has been no commitment from Canberra,” Cr Long said.
The State Government plan to expand the Dandenong line’s capacity includes grade separations, signalling upgrades and platform lengthening to accommodate nine-car trains.
The Coalition (the likely government for the next 6 years) has said they don't want to fund urban passenger rail projects. However, they are willing to fund important freight rail projects. The Victorian government's recently released freight plan hinges rather critically on a freight line running inside the proposed Metro tunnel, along the Dandenong rail corridor and down Western Port Highway. Hopefully this meets the future Federal government's criteria for an important freight project (because it is).