A Real Plan For Fast Regional Rail For Ballarat

16 October 2018

Only a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will overhaul our rail network for fast rail to Ballarat.

We said we’d repair the damage from successive Liberal Governments taking the axe to regional rail, and we are. We’re building new modern trains, and our Regional Rail Revival is fixing the unreliability on our regional lines, and providing the more frequent services passengers deserve.

In Ballarat we’ve added 68 additional services, we’re getting on with the Ballarat Line Upgrade that will allow extra services during peak times and the works to help services recover faster from unexpected delays.

As Ballarat continues to boom we know our network needs more than just an upgrade: it needs re-drawing.

We started work to deliver fast regional rail with $50 million in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 and committed $5 billion to Airport Rail Link via Sunshine to unlock the west of the state – but there’s more to do.

That work has identified the projects we need to make fast rail to Geelong and Ballarat a reality – and a re-elected Labor Government will invest an extra $100 million to complete all the planning we need to get it done.

The new Western Rail Plan includes planning for the full separation of regional and metro services on the Ballarat line – the first step in delivering fast rail to these cities – meaning fewer stops, faster trips and less crowded trains. Labor will complete the full business case and technical work required to deliver:

  • Two new electrified metro lines to Melton and Wyndham Vale with possible new stations, with the Wyndham Vale line potentially becoming the western section of the Suburban Rail Loop.
  • Additional tracks between Sunshine and the CBD to run extra services, most likely through a new rail tunnel which would also be utilised by Airport-bound trains and integrated with the Airport Rail Link.
  • A major overhaul to the express-Ballarat lines to run fast trains, including the potential full electrification of these lines with new electric regional rolling stock.

Our regional cities will be a vital part of delivering this work. To ensure this overhaul is done in partnership, the Andrews Labor Government will sign an agreement with the City of Greater Geelong, and seek a similar agreement with other regional cities, to work together in delivering fast rail.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“We’ve added extra services, made country crossings safer and we’re getting on with the Ballarat Line Upgrade – and we’ll now plan for our next big build for Ballarat.”

“We’re returning Ballarat trains to our second biggest regional city. Only Labor can be trusted to build the regional public transport we need for the future.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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