Appologies of this has already been posted befire: I did look though, so don't shoot me down in flames - Anyways:
Green light for $1b rail project
By Liam Houlihan, transport reporter
A $1 BILLION project to build a third rail track on the crowded Dandenong line has been given the green light in secret.
The extra track will speed up travel times for tens of thousands of commuters in Melbourne's growing east.
Houses and shops will be demolished, stations widened and roads diverted for the length of the 19km third track from Caulfield to Dandenong.
The extra track will allow express trains to overtake stopping-all-stations trains and free the network for more frequent services.
It is shaping as the Bracks Government's most expensive transport project.
The Government wanted to keep the third track project quiet until a major transport statement next month.
But the Herald Sun discovered the Government has already signed off on more than $6 million worth of contracts for the "Dandenong Rail Corridor Project" in the past three months.
A source close to the project confirmed the third track has been officially approved by the Bracks Government.
It could take a decade to build the extra line.
Transport Minister Peter Batchelor's office said the Dandenong rail contracts were for development of the project, but not the start of works.
Dandenong is the city's second busiest line after Belgrave with 55,000 boardings each week day.
The Government is also looking at building new stations on the Cranbourne and Werribee lines.
It has spent $283,000 on advice for options to build a station between Dandenong and Merinda Park stations at Lynbrook, and another at Point Cook.
The third track project stalled last year when the Government failed to fully commit to it in the 2005 budget.
Instead it funded a $25 million study of options for the Dandenong growth corridor.
That left open the possibility of extra buses as an alternative to a third rail.
The Public Transport Users Association said there were less costly ways to serve more passengers on the busy line.
"The people living on that line will be happy to see the extra trains when they arrive but that will be in a long time," said association president Daniel Bowen.
"Revamping signalling and timetables and introducing passing loops where there's available land, like in Oakleigh, would be much cheaper."
One of the Dandenong contracts, for survey services, has gone to Connell Wagner, which designed roads, tunnels and noise walls for EastLink.
Another is to a rail company involved in the Government's Regional Fast Rail project.
EDIT: Interesting, how the PTUA shoot down the proposal, annd are suggesting a much worse idea. I wish they could get someone who was grateful for once, and maybe intellegent....
- Station Street