The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed yesterday’s announcement of revised plans for the Cranbourne-Pakenham line, particularly the promise that nine level crossings will be removed between Dandenong and Caulfield.

ETC Chairman, Cr Peter Lockwood said the ETC has campaigned for the removal of these level crossings for many years, and said it was great news that 37 new trains would also be acquired.

“The Dandenong train line, from which the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines extend, is experiencing some of Melbourne’s highest levels of patronage growth,” Cr Lockwood said.

“Yesterday’s announcement of new and upgraded infrastructure, including power and signalling upgrades, is certainly welcome, as is the trial of high capacity signalling on the Sandringham line.

“Capacity must be increased across the whole railway network, and that is hopefully what the Melbourne Metro project will achieve. However high capacity signaling is also necessary to allow the system to operate at its peak and we hope to see more action taken towards this end.

“We hope that work will begin in the short term to deliver improvements to the travelling public who are currently dealing with overcrowded trains and motorists who are trapped on congested roads exacerbated by the level crossings.”