The struggle to get a new station at South Morang

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1999 the ALP promised to extend the Epping line to South Morang at a cost of $8 million with work to start in its first term if elected

2000 The Department of Infrastructure commenced a feasibility study into this project

2002 The Whittlesea Strategic Transport Infrastructure Study was released. The number 1 priority was the extension to South Morang.

2002 The ALP promised to investigate the feasibility of track duplication between Greensborough and Hurstbridge in its second term

2003 The Department of Infrastructure completed itís PPK feasibility study and made representations for funding in the 2003-04 state budget, estimated cost $16 million.

2003 The Minister for Transport released the North Poll report which indicated that only 37% of people in the north thought buses were an effective way of getting round the northern region

2003 December the Trainlink bus service from South Morang commenced claiming to meet every arriving and departing train from Epping

2003 The joint statement of priorities by the Whittlesea, Darebin, Hume and Moreland Councils indicated that increased investment in urban rail has strong public support at 83.7%

April 2004 Council received a $100,000 state government grant for the South Morang Activity Centre planning including the rail extension

2004 Mayor Lara Carli announces a campaign to work with community groups and local residents to achieve the rail extension.

2004 Friends of South Morang (FOSM) collects 3500 signatures on a petition calling for the extension

2004 FOSM initiates the formation of the South Morang Rail Alliance consisting of representatives from the PTUA, MADRA and COWRA

2004 Local Leader newspaper launches another rail petition and collects over 5000 signatures

2004 December Clifton Hill Rail Group Review was released to coincide with Leader petition but also included a study of the Epping line which was not part of the original 2002 election promise

2004 FOSM completes a review of the Trainlink bus service

2004 Melbourne 2030, a statement of government policy intentions was released identifying the rail extension to South Morang as a priority

Dec 2004 Mr Batchelor announces that a rail extension might not be viable for another 10 years

2005 Government extends Trainlink for a further 4 years without conducting a review as promised

2005 Alliance releases Evaluation of Clifton Hill Rail Group Review

2006 Government releases Transport and Liveability Statement showing the South Morang Extension will no longer be occuring until 2021 under a Bracks Labor Government

2006 NEITS draft report released for evaluation by the public, stating it agrees with the Clifton Hill Rail Group review in that the extension should not go ahead until 2021. This is despite the fact that it was reported numerous times in the report, the public, local councils, and community groups need the extension immediately.

2006 Greens and People Power make it policy that the rail extension be built immediately. Leader of the Opposition, Mr Ted Baillieu met with SMRA on the site of the proposed station, to listen to community concern about the lack of this essential service.

2006 Public Rally held on the site of the proposed station, attended by representatives of all parties that will contest the state election. Labor remained commited to 2021. Liberal policy at the time of the rally had not been formed. Greens are committed to building asap. People Power are committed to building asap. Dr Peter Harris from the Uniting Church asked for common sense to prevail and to build the railway line asap because of the huge population explosion that will happen in the next couple of years.

2007 Victorian State Budget put out by John Brumby with a mention that the South Morang rail extension is a POSSIBLE FUTURE EXTENSION, rather than a FUTURE EXTENSION as indicated in the Labor Party election commitment. It has been established that Danielle Green suffered a 8.44% drop in the Meadow Glenn and Lily D'Ambrossio also suffered a 9.08% drop in the South Morang area. Still the Labor Government did not put commit to this extension in the current term.

2007 Dr Ian McPhail, the state government's own public transport ombudsman, called on the state government to extend the suburban rail network into growth suburbs.

2007 Matthew Guy, shadow minister for planning re-confirms that if the state Liberal Party is elected in 2010, they will build the South Morang railway extension in their first term and also announced a further pledge to complete a feasibility study to extend rail to Mernda.

2007 Federal treasurer Mr Peter Costello and member for McEwen Ms Fran Bailey announce they will provide $80 million for road works to enable the Epping railway line to be extended not only to South Morang, but to Mernda as well should the federal Liberal Party be re-elected.

2008 SMRA and The Greens obtain the DOI commissioned report into the extension of the Epping Line to South Morang. Written by Parsons Brinckerhoff, it shows that it would have only cost the State Government $18 million to build the railway in 2003.

2008 State Government adopts 2005 SMRA recommendation to reverse the direction of the Epping/Hurstbridge trains in the City Loop in the morning. Whilst there is already enough capacity for the extension to built immediately, the reversal will allow more trains to come to South Morang and Mernda once the extensions are built.

2008 Council rejects the DOI's North East Integrated Transport Study unanimously due to the State Government not bringing forward the extension of the railway to South Morang and Mernda. NEITS had the extension to South Morang placed in 2021 and to Mernda in 2027.

2008 State Government releases the Victorian Transport Plan, and backflips on their policy of extending rail to South Morang by 2021 to announce that the extension will now start in 2010 and be completed by 2013. The single track from Keon Park to Epping will also be duplicated as part of this project.

2009 State Government commits to funding the South Morang extension in the State budget.

2009 The new railway bridge connecting Clifton Hill and Westgarth stations is completed. This allows more trains per hour to go through the Clifton Hill junction.

2010 Work commences on the Keon Park to Epping duplication project with signalling being moved to allow the second track to be constructed.

2010 Excavators begin earthworks on the South Morang easement to test soil density for the new railway.

2012 April 22nd, the new station at South Morang is opened by Minister for Transport Mr Terry Mulder. The station is opened over 12 months early, a credit to the workforce involved.

Return to South Morang Rail Alliance page

This way to South Morang Station
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This is the view looking east across Cooper Street from the Epping Rail Station along the existing disused rail reserve to South Morang. The state government owns this rail reserve all the way to Whittlesea from when it was closed in the 1950's so there is no expense involved in acquiring land for the promised rail extension to South Morang. All that is lacking is a commitment from the Bracks government to use some of its record surplus to build the much needed extension to South Morang as promised by Peter Batchelor in 1999.

Proposed underground location for Epping Station
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The 2002 PPK report commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure recommended the option that the existing Epping Station be relocated below ground level (see above) to enable the extension to South Morang to proceed beneath Cooper Street.

Recommended site of the South Morang Station
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The Whittlesea Strategic Transport Infrastructure Study, recommended that the New South Morang Rail Station be sited adjacent to the Plenty Valley Town Centre shopping complex as part of the South Morang Activity Centre as outlined in Melbourne 2030 and be constructed in two stages with the final site accessible under Civic Drive. Local residents will recognise the interim station as being adjacent to the poultry farm in MacDonalds Road. The Plenty Valley Town Centre shopping complex has since been built in the area south of the site of the future station. The Deutche Bank, part owners of the shopping centre have promised $10 million towards the rail extension.


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Passengers alighting from the Trainlink bus have to negotiate a series of vehicle exit and entry points in order to get to the Epping station. This is not only dangerous, especially for people with disabilities, but at peak times can mean a missed train.