Upgrades to the Ballarat Line will be complete by 2019, the Warrnambool Line will be upgraded by 2020, and the Geelong, Gippsland and Bendigo Echuca lines will follow, according to a new timetable released by the State and Federal Governments.
The $1.75 billion Victorian Regional Rail Revival program is well underway thanks to funding from the Federal Government, which was released after Victoria signed up for the Inland Rail project.
Federal transport minister Michael McCormack joined Victorian public transport minister Jacinta Allan on June 8 to announce work had progressed on a four-year program to overhaul the state’s regional railways.
Work on the Ballarat Line is already underway, and the pair announced it was due for completion by the end of 2019.
Completion dates outlined by the ministers on Friday include the Warrnambool Line Upgrade by late 2020, the Geelong Line Upgrade and Bendigo Echuca Line Upgrade by late 2021, and the Gippsland Line Upgrade by late 2022.
“We heard from communities they wanted more certainty on timing of works on every line and we are pleased to provide an update,” McCormack said.
“We look forward to seeing the program benefits, which will deliver huge public transport improvements for Victorian passengers, and deliver more than 1,000 jobs during construction.”
McCormack and Allan also announced on Friday that the business case for the full duplication of the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds corridor has been submitted for review by Infrastructure Australia.
“While the business case for the full project is under assessment, we’re getting on with the work needed to start duplication at Waurn Ponds Station, to give passengers on regional Victoria’s busiest train line the services they deserve,” Allan said.