Regional Passengers Winners Thanks To Rail Loop

Works on the Andrews Labor Government’s major $551 million upgrade of the Ballarat line is continuing at full steam with works on a new passing loop at Millbrook set to ramp up in coming weeks.

Premier Daniel Andrews today joined Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan and Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard to inspect works on the Ballarat Line Upgrade (BLU), which will deliver more frequent reliable services, and builds on the Suburban Rail Link announced this week.

The Suburban Rail Loop will deliver big benefits for Ballarat passengers with better connections for locals to jobs, education, hospitals and tourism.

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will embark upon the biggest transformation of public transport in Australia’s history, with a new underground rail network set to circle Melbourne connecting every major regional train line from the Geelong line to the Gippsland line through Melbourne Airport.

The project will mean Ballarat line passengers won’t have to travel through Melbourne to access world-class education and health services, with Melburnians also set to have easier access to all Western Victoria has to offer.

Regional rail users from Western Victoria will also be one stop away from Melbourne Airport via a regional super hub in Sunshine – a service that’s set to be even faster with the potential for a high-speed rail link to Ballarat.

A re-elected Labor Government will provide up to $5 billion towards the construction of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, enabling the Sunshine and the Melbourne Airport section of the Suburban Rail Loop to start by 2022.

As part of the joint State and Federal funded BLU, the new 4.5 kilometre passing loop is being built at Millbrook to create more space for trains to pass, improving reliability and enabling more trains more often.

The BLU will deliver new and upgraded stations and install new track and stabling. To be completed in 2019, the project will enable more services during peak times, trains every 40 minutes off-peak and more reliable services.

More than 340,000 hours have been worked on the project since late 2017, including workers from Gordon-based Carey Civil Contractors – undertaking earth works, bulk excavation and piling including here at Millbrook.

Civil engineers, labourers, and surveyors are other examples of the jobs created by the upgrade. Many of these are early career workers, with more than 70,500 project hours worked by apprentices, trainees and cadets.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“Communities along the Ballarat line are growing and more people than ever are catching the train. Thanks to our investment we’re fixing the line, but we know there’s more to do.”

“Only Labor will undertake the major investment that this line needs – with a regional super hub at Sunshine and the Airport one stop away, getting locals where they need to go safer and sooner.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“The Ballarat Line Upgrade isn’t just about delivering those extra services for passengers, it’s ensuring our regional workers and suppliers also have the opportunity to be involved in a project of this size.”

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard                                                                                       

“Not only are we getting on with fixing the Ballarat Line, we’re ensuring that local rail users get the easy and direct access into Melbourne, without having to travel into its centre – with the Airport just one stop away.”