A train will arrive at Mernda Station for the first time since 1959 this July as a test train makes its way up the line in preparation for passenger trains running later this year.
All railway track along the 8 kilometre rail corridor has now been laid, allowing the first test train to arrive in Mernda sometime in July to collect data as it travels up the line.
With complete electrification yet to be completed, it’s believed a diesel locomotive will be used for early test runs.
Out of hours works in key locations helped crews make better than expected progress in the last few months removing rock, installing tracks and building signaling and power infrastructure.
Completing all excavation before the winter months aimed to reduce the overall length of disruption.
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.
For test trains to safely run on the line buses replace trains between Clifton Hill and South Morang from the 7:45pm Friday, June 29 until last service on Sunday, July 1.
Mernda station opened in 1889 – first as South Yan Yean – then Mernda from 1913 until closing in 1959. The line to Whittlesea was dismantled during the 1970s.