The $600 million project launches six months ahead of original plans. As part of the new line, three new stations are open at Mernda, Hawkstowe and Middle Gorge. They're expected to service up to 8000 commuters a day, easing road congestion in the area.
In addition, a new shared pedestrian and bike path links the stations. Plus, new community spaces and a new skate park have been built around each of the three spots, located immediately south of Mernda Station, immediately north of Hawkstowe Station, and at The Parkway, adjacent to Mernda Park Primary School.
While landscaping works will still need to be finalised around the stations in the coming months, commuters can start accessing new services from today, with 982 services connecting to the city every week from Mernda Station. To ensure that locals can access the new rail line, two new and seven realigned bus routes will also take passengers to the three new stations.