In 1999 the then Bracks Opposition pledged to construct a third track from Box Hill to Mitcham with the promise of delivering ‘flier trains’ to provide express services from Ringwood. This promise was again reiterated for the 2002 State Election but has subsequently been quickly forgotten by the State Government.
The Maroondah Journal has again investigated the broken promise over the third track to Ringwood:
Provision for a third rail line to Ringwood has been incorporated into major capital works in Ringwood and Box Hill, but the State Government says it is not a priority and will not commit to the project.
The much criticised Transport and Liveability Statement dubbed Meeting Our Transport Challenges confirmed that the Bracks Government has failed eastern suburban residents by omitting any rail improvements for the Ringwood and Belgrave/Lilydale lines for the next 25 years.
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Alex Makin said he held no hope for a third rail line being built in the next 25 years.
“The Transport and Liveability study omitted the third rail line in its entirety.”
There are more economical and easier means to provide regular express services from Ringwood without the need for the third rail line. The use of passing loops located at Mitcham, track improvements near Ringwood and upgraded signalling would provide the capacity for regular express services without the cost of the third track.
“If the Government did their job properly, they could get away without a third track.”
Unfortunately the Government appears intent to neglect the needs of outer eastern rail users while unnecessarily spending up to a billion dollars on triplication for the Dandenong line.