In a major coup for the peninsula, a government spokesperson has today announced the Stony Point train line will be overhauled.
The bold plan is believed to be an expansion of the ‘sky rail’ project beyond Frankston; level crossings along the Stony Point line will be removed through the use of an elevated track and the so-called ‘missing link’ constructed.
Project spokesman Herman Melville claims it’s the first piece of major rail infrastructure on the peninsula in over thirty years.
“It will provide a major boost to the economy,” he said. “People will love it.”
But when asked whether this is part of the controversial ‘Sky Rail’ program, Herman denies it.
“Absolutely no. Sky Rail lifts the track to about nine metres. For Stony Point, we want to lift the line to at least twenty three metres.”
This, it is hoped, will substantially improve the view for those visiting the peninsula region. It will also result in new, elevated train stations at Somerville, Tyabb and Hastings. Already, however, there are objections from concerned residents.
Local shop owner and activist Arthur Doyle is concerned that the heritage value of existing structures will be sacrificed.
“Not only are we going to end up with train stations at a height usually preserved for low flying aircraft, but we’re going to lose our existing stations which are completely unique” Mr Doyle said.
Mr Doyle said the existing tin shed at Tyabb Station is a celebrated piece of architecture representing the ‘brutalist’ style, popular in the 1970s. He says plans are advanced to secure heritage listing for the stations to stymie the planned works.
Mr Melville dismisses the risk of the existing Tyabb Station being listed by the National Trust as “a desperate manoeuvre, trying to delay the inevitable.” He notes there have been no such objections to the project’s second component. “This really has been fifty years in the making.”
Work is shortly to commence on the long overdue ‘missing link’ from Stony Point to Cowes.
“It’s been part of the plan since Bolte was Premier,” said Mr Melville. “It’ll be great to see it finally come to fruition.”
The work will involve a bridge over Western Port Bay to finally link Phillip Island to the peninsula.
“Forget queuing to get across the bridge at San Remo. You’ll be able to catch a train instead,” Mr Melville said.
According to the business case, it will see tourists catch the train from the city straight down to Cowes. From there, they’ll be quickly bussed to the island’s major attractions, including the Penguin Parade.
“Touch on at Flinders Street, touch off in paradise,” Mr Melville said.
However, opposition MPs are up in arms at the proposed rail extension to Cowes.
“How the hell will we get ships into the Port of Hastings if there is a bloody rail bridge across the shipping channel?” an opposition spokesman said.
“This is just a cynical attempt to wreck our plans once and for all!”