Residents in Melbourne’s outer west left waiting years for promised train stations to be built

When Radika and Anuj Soog bought their property in Truganina in Melbourne’s far west in 2017, they were told the train station around the corner would be built by 2020.

Five years later, they’re still waiting.

Last week, the state government announced $200 million for the next phase of planning for the Truganina railway station, as well as a new Tarneit West railway station to be built by 2026.

It is not yet known when the Truganina station will be built.

The stations were originally listed under “potential future stations” when the Victorian Government built the Regional Rail Link in 2012.

Radika Soog said the population in Truganina is booming, and locals have been calling on the state government to build these stations for years.

“People are taken for granted,” she says. “That’s what we’re discussing among our friends and neighbors.”

Ms Soog works in Footscray which is only 20 minutes away by train.

However, she said she had to leave more than two hours early to allow time to go to Tarneit train station, which is often very crowded.

“Sometimes there’s too much traffic to get into the station, so I have to leave my house at 7, 7:30,” she said.

A map of proposed train stations in western Melbourne
The government has promised to build two new stations in the west, the first of which will not be completed until at least 2026.(ABC News: Paul Sellenger)

Tarneit station is the busiest outside of Southern Cross

Tarneit station is the second busiest V/Line station in Victoria after Southern Cross, with more than 1.24 million people using the station in 2019.

The 1,000-space parking station typically fills up around 7am, and work is underway to add another 500 spaces, as well as new bike parking and CCTV.

Ms Soog said the announcement of funding for the Truganina station planning phase felt like a “slap in the face”.

“It’s like you’ve been ignored and will be ignored forever,” she said.

Ahead of next month’s state election, pollsters say voters in Melbourne’s far west are feeling neglected by a lack of services.

Wyndham City Council estimates that more than 98,000 people live in Tarneit and Truganina. By 2040 it is expected to grow to more than 180,000 inhabitants.

A man in a suit stands in front of a field
Peter Maynard believes the region’s infrastructure will be strained by continued population growth.(ABC News: Peter Durre)

Mayor Peter Maynard said the council supports the construction of four new train stations along the Wyndham Vale corridor.

“If you add Wyndham and our brothers at Melton City Council into the mix, we have a population that’s larger than Adelaide,” he said.

And, he said, population growth is showing no signs of slowing down.

“We gave birth to between 110 and 130 babies every week,” Cr Maynard said.

“So there is a kindergarten in a week and an elementary school in a month.

“[The train line] should do his job.”

Years of waiting for new infrastructure

Andrew Butt, associate professor at the RMIT Center for Urban Research, said the new stations have been planned for years and are being welcomed by locals.

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