The growing divide between Watsonia and Watsonia North could get even wider if rumours prove true that Watsonia North could get its very own train station as part of the North East Link construction. In yet another The Watsonia Bugle exclusive, we’ve spotted plans from one NEL proposal that will include a new train station for the suburb of Watsonia North, revolutionising public transport for residents in the area.
While the plans are still only at the drafting stage, we can reveal that the possibility of Watsonia North getting their own train station could become a reality as soon as 2023. The installation of a new train station would obviously involve the expensive redirection of the current Hurstbridge Train Line, but surveyors behind the plans claim that moving the current line would actually aid construction of the new toll road linking the Ring Road with the Eastern Freeway.
An anonymous source close to the proposal broke company protocol to tell The Watsonia Bugle, “In the process of drawing up the plans for the new roads through that Greensborough Highway area, we identified that the location of the current train line could become problematic. While trying to work around those issues, one suggestion was diverting the train line under AK Lines Reserve, and then someone suggested adding a station at Watsonia North.”
The source claimed that the economic and social benefits of a new station in Watsonia North would far outweigh the inconvenience and cost associated with such a drastic re-routing of the existing line. They said, “The benefits for that area would be huge. And it would also significantly reduce the parking stress around the Watsonia Station area, a problem that will only be compounded by the NEL. We read your report last year about Watsonia North’s 0.5 out of 10 rating for walkability, but we feel the introduction of a train station would dramatically improve this. Who knows, it might even breathe some life into the struggling retail precinct.”
The source refused to be drawn on the actual possibility of the new station being approved, but did say that “detailed plans have already been created, so it’s ready to go if we get approval”. Do you think Watsonia North needs its own train station? And will the complete diversion of the current train line be worth it? Let us know in the comments section of our Facebook post on this important community issue.