Public transport services in the G21 region need to be upgraded to improve travel times, capacity and frequency of services travelling to Melbourne, as well as expanding connectivity within the region.
The current Geelong-Melbourne rail service is overcrowded and suffers frequent delays.
Patronage on the Geelong line is due to double to 16 million trips per annum by 2031. This highlights the need for fast rail and other rail infrastructure improvements.
Stage 1 of the Geelong Fast Rail project has been funded. It will deliver passengers faster journeys between Geelong and Melbourne, with a travel time of around 50 minutes and future upgrades aimed to cut the journey to 40 minutes.
Construction of the Fast Rail is expected to be underway from 2023, subject to relevant planning, environmental and government approvals.
There is also the need to increase services south of the Geelong line.
V/Line’s off-peak weekday service between Melbourne and South Geelong runs at 20-minute intervals, but Marshall and Waurn Ponds only has a 40-minute service due to the single track beyond South Geelong.
Duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds has been funded and construction is scheduled to be complete in 2024. This will enable more services and improve reliability.
This could also positively impact the Geelong–Colac–Warrnambool train service, which currently has four services each day.
The current level of rail passenger services between Geelong and Warrnambool is a barrier to the development of towns such as Colac and Winchelsea. Increasing the services from four to five in each direction per day will increase accessibility within the region and provide opportunities for employment and post-secondary education.
It could also improve connectivity within the region, with the possibility that rail services between Lara and Waurn Ponds could create a city train network. It could combine with improvements to bus scheduling to deliver a more integrated approach.
Investment in new and upgraded rail infrastructure will also contribute to creating liveable, sustainable settlements in the new G21 Regional Growth Areas.
Guy Wilson-Browne, General Manager City Services, City of Greater Geelong
REDUCE TRAVEL TIMES TO MELBOURNE (FUNDED)
Dedicated regional express tracks into central Melbourne will support fast rail. This is expected to be underway from 2023.
INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF SERVICES TO MELBOURNE
Larger trains or more frequent services are required to cater to an increased number of passengers.
INCREASE THE FREQUENCY OF THE GEELONG-WARRNAMBOOL RAIL PASSENGER SERVICE
Currently four Geelong to Warrnambool services run each day. A minimum of five services per day is required to improve accessibility across the G21 region and provide greater opportunities for employment and post-secondary education. Further increases would be linked to increased usage and improvements in the rail infrastructure.
SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS TO SUPPORT DELIVERY OF IMPROVED CAPACITY, FREQUENCY AND CONNECTIVITY
South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication (funded)
The South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication will enable more services and improved reliability on the Geelong Line. This includes construction of second platforms and car parking at Marshall and South Geelong rail stations, a new rail bridge over the Barwon River and grade separation of the level crossings at Fyans Street and the Surf Cost Highway.
Waurn Ponds stabling facility (funded)
Construction of a new train maintenance and stabling facility at Waurn Ponds will support additional services on the Geelong Line. This project is underway.
Increase capacity on the Warrnambool line (funded)
The single rail line between Geelong and Warrnambool has only two passing loops, which restricts the number of services that can run. A third passing loop has begun.
Delivery of the Armstrong Creek Transport Corridor
The Armstrong Creek Transit Corridor has identified a preferred location for potential transport options to support the growing region. Funding is required to commence transport to Armstrong Creek.
WHAT HAS BEEN COMMITTED
- $4 billion to deliver fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne.
- $1.06 billion to fully duplicate the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
- $340 million to build 18 three-car trains for Geelong and Ballarat.
- $115 million for a train stabling and maintenance yard near Waurn Ponds.
- $114 million for a Warrnambool line upgrade.
- $50 million for a feasibility study investigating fast rail infrastructure.
- $10 million for a rail passing loop between Marshall and Warrnambool.
- $5 million for Armstrong Creek Transit corridor planning.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- Improved train capacity to cater to an increased number of passengers between Geelong and Melbourne.
- An increase in rail service between Geelong and Colac/Warrnambool from four services a day to a minimum of five return services per day.
- An increase in rail services between Lara and Waurn Ponds.
- $130 million for a rail spur line to Armstrong Creek Town Centre and construction of Armstrong Creek Town Centre Railway Station.
A commitment by State government to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.