CONSTRUCTION has commenced on the $600 million Mernda Rail Extension Project in Melbourne's outer north, which involves an eight kilometre extension of the South Morang Line to Merdna, with new stations at Hawkstowe, Marymede and Mernda.
Over the coming weeks, construction crews will establish work areas, remove vegetation and prepare the rail corridor for major construction to ramp up later this year, with the extension expected to be operational in early 2019.
The new premium station at Mernda will be integrated with the proposed Mernda Town Centre, while Marymede Station will be adjacent to Marymede Catholic College and Hawkstowe will be next to Hawkstowe Parade.
With three rail bridges and two road underpasses, the project will not create any level crossings. It also includes up to 2,000 car parking spaces, as well as bicycle storage and bus facilities around all stations, and a train stabling yard at the end of the line.
The majority of rail will be at ground level, with less than 14 per cent of the entire track an elevated structure. Once open in 2019, the three stations are expected to be used by around 8,000 passengers every day.