Ten-minute Cranbourne trains arriving early

A long-awaited second track between Cranbourne and Dandenong will be complete close to a year ahead of schedule, eliminating bottlenecks and delivering trains every 10 minutes on average in the morning peak for Cranbourne passengers.

Eight kilometres of new, duplicated track will be operational in early 2022 - along with a brand-new Merinda Park Station - well ahead of the original 2023 completion date.

As part of a timetable change, which will go ahead shortly after the project’s early delivery, more trains will run during the morning peak from Cranbourne, Lynbrook and Merinda Park stations, meaning there will be 10-minute services on average.

Three extra services will also be provided in the afternoon peak, which will see trains that previously terminated at Dandenong now extended to Cranbourne.

A reduction in cancellations and delays is also expected, with train drivers no longer needing to idle and wait for the single track to be clear of trains before they can leave the station.  

The launch date for the new services will be confirmed after a one-week rail line closure in late November, when buses replace trains on sections of the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines from 1am Saturday 20 November to last service Thursday 25 November.

The train line duplication forms part of the massive $1 billion Cranbourne Line Upgrade, which also includes the removal of four level crossings. One of those - at Greens Road, Dandenong South - will be gone in early 2022 when trains travelling on the newly duplicated track will also start to run across a new dual rail bridge.

Separating trains from cars at Greens Road will slash congestion through the busy Dandenong industrial hub, responsible for more than 10 per cent of Victorian manufacturing output and 60,000 jobs.

By 2025, the Cranbourne and Pakenham lines will both be level crossing free, with the Metro Tunnel, level crossing removals, duplicated track and new bigger trains creating room for an additional 121,000 extra peak passengers every week. 

Cranbourne and Pakenham line passengers will also reap the benefits of direct trains to Melbourne Airport, along with a new Clayton super hub linking to new stations at Monash University and Glen Waverley.

The Suburban Rail Loop will also slash travel times to key health, education and jobs destinations and accommodate more than 90,000 transfers a day.