Better trains and bus services for regional Victoria

People living in regional Victoria will have the public transport services they deserve, with faster, more reliable and better-connected trains and buses.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 will provide $313 million for Stage 2 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade, which will pave the way for nine services a day to and from Shepparton. Work is already underway on the first stage of the project with $43.5 million funded in the last Budget.

The Budget will provide $50 million to complete detailed planning of an airport rail link that will unlock the west and deliver fast rail to Geelong.

Wyndham Vale and Seymour passengers will get more rail services, better connectivity and less crowding thanks to a $10.8 million investment. This means the Andrews Labor Government has now rolled out new services across every regional commuter rail line, with more than 600 regional services delivered since we came to government.

Track and signalling upgrades across the Maryborough, Ararat and Ballarat area will be delivered with $130 million to improve the reliability of the regional rail network – and is an essential requirement for any future return of passenger services to Dunolly.

This funding complements the Ballarat Line Upgrade Stage 2 to provide additional track capacity for both passenger and rail freight services to manage the interface between the jointly funded Murray Basin Rail and Ballarat Line Upgrade projects, and enable the future expansion of regional passenger services to Maryborough and Ararat.

The Budget includes $172.9 million to build new train stabling and maintenance facilities on the regional network, and upgrade the Southern Cross Rail Yards to providing more room to house the 87 new carriages already ordered by the Labor Government in previous budgets and enable the expansion of the regional train fleet.

The Labor Government will provide $15.8 million to finalise design and procurement for a new, modern regional train to replace the ageing Classic Fleet, continuing the work currently underway.

High skilled jobs will be retained in Ballarat with $103.5 million to purchase 30 additional X’Trapolis carriages for the metropolitan network.

Funding will also go towards more buses and new flexiride services across a number of regional towns, including Bellarine, Lara, Gisborne, Trentham, Daylesford, Ararat, Horsham Donnybrook and Kilmore.

This Budget also builds on previous investments of the Regional Rail Revival package, 87 VLocity carriages, safer country crossings and delivering the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“We’re giving Victorians in regional areas more efficient and reliable public transport.”

“We’re continuing our record investment to improve regional public transport, support local jobs, and get people home safer and sooner.”