Transport Minister Terry Mulder officially opened the new South Morang railway station on Sunday 22 April. The extension of the Epping line to South Morang was the culmination of a long campaign, especially by the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance, and local residents generally.
The South Morang line runs north- south to the Melbourne CBD via Clifton Hill where it joins the Hurstbridge line. Taken together the capability and performance of these lines play a key role in Melbourne’s public transport network in north and north-eastern Melbourne and in future will need to play a much greater role in reducing car dependency in the area .
Logically these two lines should also be joined at Clifton Hill by a rail service to Doncaster along the Eastern Freeway reservation and which is currently subject to a study by the Baillieu government.
As a Premium station, South Morang is staffed from first train to the last each day. Access from the station concourse to the platform area may be made by stairs or lift and the entrance is observable from the customer service area.
There is a secure bicycle cage on the concourse area.
The bus terminal is spacious and a short walking distance from the entrance to the station platforms.
The track is grade- separated from the road network. This means that the conflict between rail and road traffic which is a problem elsewhere in Melbourne does not exist at South Morang. One feature of the facility is a shared bike and pedestrian path grade separated from the road network which runs north-south beside the rail line.
Seven route bus services connect with the trains at South Morang, including the Frankston to Melbourne Airport SmartBus 901. The trip time between Greensborough station and South Morang station on the 901 SmartBus is approximately 28 minutes.
The new bus timetables issued on 22 April for buses connecting with trains at South Morang do not show the relevant times for connecting train services which is a disappointment and is an unnecessary impediment for people who take connecting services.
South Morang sets some good standards in station design which are sympathetic to traveller comfort and the efficient movement of people and vehicles. However, the platform area and the bus terminal are relatively exposed to inclement weather, and especially high winds, and this deserves early attention. The addition of ramps for access to the platforms would also be useful, including for people with disabilities on the (hopefully rare) occasions when the lift is out of action.
Read more about the South Morang Rail Service: The Age, Adam Carey, 27 April, Two days down the track South Morang is still a missing link