With an additional 125 services a week now running on the Ballarat Line, federal and state ministers joined to highlight the project’s benefits.
“We’ve been able to deliver more frequent and reliable services on the Ballarat Line and importantly we have created jobs and local supplier opportunities along the way, providing an economic boost to the region,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the work spanned the length of the line.
“This vital upgrade took a power of work from our dedicated crews who duplicated 33 kilometres of track, installed a new signalling system, built a new stabling facility and a new station at Cobblebank and rebuilt Rockbank station, and delivered major upgrades at Ballan, Bacchus Marsh and Wendouree.”
The Ballarat Line upgrade is the first upgrade completed under the jointly funded Regional Rail Revival Program, which is upgrading each of Victoria’s regional passenger lines.
Since January 31, passengers between Ballarat and Melbourne have been able to access more services, with trains every 20 minutes during the peak, and every 40 minutes between peaks.
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said that the project provided an opportunity to train and upskill workers.
“Around 400 full-time jobs were created, providing opportunities for a huge range of workers, including nearly 60 engineering cadets, apprentices and trainees who gained invaluable experience working on a project of this size.”
Victorian member for Buninyong Michaela Settle said that network disruptions would be limited through new infrastructure.
“These new passing loops are vital pieces of infrastructure – helping services recover faster from unexpected delays and improving reliability by providing more options for trains to pass each other on the line.”
Led by ACCIONA, Coleman Rail and SMEC Australia, the $601.2 million project saw over 40 businesses involved.