The Ballarat line will be duplicated from Deer Park to Melton – and additional passing loops will be built along the corridor – to make the system more reliable and increase the number of services to and from Ballarat.
The Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Budget 2016/17 provides $518 million for the upgrade.
The project includes the duplication of a 17-kilometre section of single track between Deer Park West and Melton, paving the way for the future electrification of the line to Melton.
Three kilometres of track west of Warrenheip will also be duplicated, and three additional crossing loops will be built at Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and near Bungaree.
These loops will provide more ways for trains to pass each other, which will help services recover from unexpected delays more quickly, boosting reliability and punctuality.
The new loop near Bungaree will also improve safety for motorists and the local community by removing five level crossings on the existing Bungaree Loop.
This package of works will enable two extra services in the morning and afternoon peak, and a train every 40 minutes in the off-peak.
These services will be bolstered by the Labor Government’s $280 million investment in 27 new V/Locity carriages, which will create space for 2000 extra passengers across the regional network.
New stabling facilities will be built at Melton and Rowsley to house the extra carriages needed.
Second platforms will be built at Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations and the existing platforms at Rockbank Station will be extended by more than 50 metres so passengers can use each carriage to get on or off the train. A sealed car park will also be built on the south-side of Rockbank Station.
These initiatives are on top of the extra services and carriages the Labor Government has already added to the Ballarat line, as well as the new carpark at Wendouree Station, the Rowsley crossing loop currently under construction and the new station at Caroline Springs.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“This massive project will deliver the reliable services that passengers along the Ballarat line need now, and support the extra services they will need in the future.”
“Duplicating the Ballarat line to Melton has been talked about for decades. The time for talk is over – we’re getting it done.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Only Labor has ever delivered significant upgrades to our regional rail services and it will be the Andrews Labor Government that delivers the next major improvement to Ballarat line.”
“This upgrade will mean people in Ballarat, Melton and other growing communities right along the line can get to work, school and appointments on time, and home safer and sooner, every day.”