Dedicated airport rail link only option for Shepparton

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PUSHING FOR A BETTER RAIL LINE… Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO, Sam Birrell, Member for Euroa, Steph Ryan and the Leader of Victorian Nationals, Peter Walsh appeal for a dedicated rail link to city. Photo: Steve Hutcheson

The leader of the Victorian National Party, Peter Walsh was in Shepparton on Friday, along with the Member for Euroa, Steph Ryan and the CEO of the Committee for Greater Shepparton, Sam Birrell, to put forward a case to the Victorian Government on the rail link to Melbourne.

The Victorian Government has proposed that the link between Sunshine and Southern Cross Station, should blend in with the suburban network, as it currently does while Steph Ryan contends that passengers in the future from Shepparton will be at a disadvantage through delays caused by joining the suburban network.

Nationals Federal Member for Murray, Damian Drum said the Shepparton community deserved a rail connection that would meet future demand. “We need a fast, reliable rail connection to make sure Shepparton doesn’t miss out on the benefits of Victoria’s growing population,” Mr Drum said.

“We will only have one opportunity to get the airport rail link right,” Ms Ryan said. “Using existing track won’t realise this. Only a dedicated tunnel between Sunshine and the Melbourne CBD will get us where we need to be, when we need to be there.”

Sam Birrell said, “We should look to the German experience with rail.”

 

Unlike Victoria’s rail network that operates on a spoke and hub arrangement with Melbourne at the hub, Germany has since the inception of rail, been developed on a cellular network, interlinking cities across the country.

 

Ms Ryan said using existing tracks was short-sighted and would make it harder for country Victorians to get to appointments and meetings in the city.