The Victorian Government has announced the shortlisted bidders for the $588million Mernda Rail Extension Project, which aims to connect people in Melbourne’s outer north to train services for the first time.

Melbourne trains

John Holland, and a McConnell Dowell Constructors/UGL Engineering joint venture, have been shortlisted to submit tenders for the eight kilometre extension of the South Morang line to Mernda.

The project will involve the construction of around eight kilometres of duplicated track between South Morang and Mernda, and stabling facilities for trains north of Bridge Inn Road.

A new premium train station will be built in Mernda, a second will be built near Marymede Catholic College, and bidders have been asked to price a third station near Hawkstowe Parade.

The Victorian Government will fully fund and deliver the project.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said, “This is the first look at Melbourne’s newest rail line, which will deliver trains to booming communities in Melbourne’s north.

“We’re not just talking about growth, we’re building for it – extending public transport to new communities so they can get to work, school and appointments, and home again at the end of the day safer and sooner.”

The Labor Government is also boosting local bus services, with new Route 381 from South Morang to Diamond Creek via Doreen and Yarrambat beginning earlier this month.

Route 381 is part of a bigger, better local bus network that will begin in July 2016 and deliver more reliable, coordinated and extensive services throughout the whole growth corridor from South Morang to Whittlesea.

The shortlisted bidders announcement follows the beginning of early works on the duplication of the Hurstbridge line between Heidelberg and Rosanna, which will further improve services for passengers in Melbourne’s growing north.

Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said, “I and the local community have fought hard for new trains on Mernda, Hurstbridge and Seymour lines, plus better bus services too, and the Andrews Labor Government is not wasting a moment – we’re getting it done.”

A contract for the Mernda Rail Extension is expected to be awarded in early 2017, and construction will begin shortly after. The new line will be complete and operational in 2019.

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