Upfield line must be upgraded

More than 100 people attended a protest to demand the immediate duplication of the Upfield train line in Melbourne’s north on November 3.

Socialist Alliance Moreland councillor and Victorian Socialists candidate Sue Bolton initiated the protest after learning that the state government was not planning to upgrade the line for at least another 15 years.

Trains between Gowrie and Upfield are infrequent and often run 40 minutes apart due to the single track. Trains on this line are also often subject to delays and cancellations.

The suburbs along this line are some of the fastest growing in Melbourne. Yet, the state Labor government has refused to invest in the infrastructure required to meet the community’s growing needs.

Local residents, public transport activists, members of community organisations and political candidates attended the protest, carrying hand-painted signs on a “protest train”.

They later heard from speakers at the train’s termination at Upfield station.

Residents from poor and migrant communities spoke about how a delayed or cancelled train service can affect their ability to get and maintain a job, as well as their ability to study.

Victorian Socialists candidate Stephen Jolly spoke about how community action is needed to fight back against a Labor government that is only interested in providing infrastructure to marginal seats.

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