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Alamein upgrade call

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called for an end to the archaic practice of terminating Alamein shuttle trains at Camberwell.

“This practice is way out of date and ought to be replaced by running direct Flinders Street trains,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer-East Convenor.

Introducing direct Flinders Street trains on the Alamein line would not only save time (up to five minutes on a return trip), however, it would also reduce overcrowding between Camberwell and the city. It would also enable some Belgrave/Lilydale line trains to run express during off-peak times.

“Due to recent patronage growth, it has become increasingly difficult for Alamein commuters to get a seat on connecting trains at Camberwell,” Mr Lunn said. “Yet there isn’t even any guarantee from Connex that shuttle trains will be met by a connecting service, with commuters sometimes being left stranded for 10-15 minutes.” Mr Lunn said.

The PTUA is also calling for an upgrade to peak hour services on the Alamein line. Services would run every ten minutes compared to the current 15-20 minute service level. Ironically, peak services are currently less frequent on the Alamein line than during the off-peak (weekdays during the daytime).

“These large gaps are a joke and greatly inconvenience Alamein commuters. It’s little wonder that commuters are finding that even congested roads are more attractive than public transport,” Mr Lunn said.

Mr Lunn said that the idea of direct trains is not a new concept and that shuttle trains were introduced in the past as an effort to downgrade the Alamein line.

“The Alamein line is an under-utilised asset, and will not reach its patronage potential until we see such upgrades.”

“The Brumby Government needs to show they are committed towards tackling the real issues of traffic congestion and climate change by upgrading public transport,” Mr Lunn concluded.