Ballarat Line Upgrade Kick Starts Regional Rail Revival

The Andrews Labor Government’s Regional Rail Revival starts today with Lendlease, Coleman Rail and SMEC now the preferred bidder to transform the Ballarat line.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced today that the experienced consortium has been chosen to build the $518 million Ballarat Line Upgrade, following a competitive evaluation process.

The half-a-billion upgrade will duplicate 18 kilometres of track between Deer Park West and Melton, paving the way for future electrification to Melton.

The project will also deliver extra passing loops, new train stabling, better stations, and more car parking, and relocate stabling at Bacchus Marsh station to Maddingley, away from homes – making it quieter for local residents.

These upgrades will enable more trains, more often for passengers in Melbourne’s west and right along the Ballarat line, including trains every 40 minutes off-peak.

The project will create up to 400 jobs during construction – part of the more than 1,000 jobs the Regional Rail Revival program will create across the state.

The Ballarat Line Upgrade is the first project underway as part of the Labor Government’s Regional Rail Revival program – a once in a generation investment that will improve every regional passenger line in Victoria.

Since February, more than 200 site investigations have been conducted and nearly 90 boreholes have been dug to understand ground conditions along the Ballarat corridor, and inform design and construction of the project.

Extensive community consultation has also been undertaken, including meetings with councils and landowners, an online survey completed by more than 150 people and engagement with more than 2,000 local passengers.

A final proposal will now be developed, with a contract due to be awarded later this year. Major construction is expected to start early next year.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews                              

We’re not wasting a moment upgrading the Ballarat line, and every regional passenger line in Victoria.”

“We won the fight to revive regional rail and now we’re getting on with building the projects that regional Victorians need.”

Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Public Transport Jaala Pulford

“The Regional Rail Revival starts right here – upgrading tracks, stations and services for regional passengers.”

“We’re delivering more frequent and reliable services for growing communities between Melbourne and Ballarat, and creating hundreds of local jobs.