The Ballarat Line Upgrade is complete, with communities along the line now enjoying more frequent services.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack and Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today welcomed the completion of more than 1.6 million hours of work on the project, allowing the introduction of 125 new weekly services to the Ballarat Line, including 100 new weekly services for Ballan.
Crews worked around the clock during the five-week disruption from 28 December 2020 to 30 January 2021, to finish the Ballarat Line Upgrade and prepare the line for the introduction of the new services.
“The Ballarat Line Upgrade is now complete and has delivered much-needed additional services, and it is exciting for the local communities on the line to be able to access these after the completion of the final phase of work on this major project,” Mr McCormack said.
“We’ve been able to deliver more frequent and reliable services on the Ballarat Line, and importantly have created jobs and local supplier opportunities along the way, providing an economic boost to the region.
Around 400 full time jobs were created, providing opportunities to 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 Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the end of the Ballarat Line Upgrade is a significant milestone, with the project - delivered by a consortium comprising ACCIONA, Coleman Rail and SMEC Australia - the first completed line upgrade under the Australian and Victorian governments’ $4 billion Regional Rail Revival program.
“This vital upgrade took a power of work from our dedicated crews – who duplicated 33 kilometres of track, built a new stabling facility, installed a new signalling system, built a new station at Cobblebank and rebuilt Rockbank station, and delivered major upgrades at Ballan, Bacchus Marsh and Wendouree,” Ms Allan said.
“All this work means we’ve been able to add an extra 125 services along the Ballarat line every week – offering passengers travelling on Victoria’s second busiest regional rail line more choice when they travel, as well as better access to education, health and community services.”
Trains and passengers are now using the new second platforms at Ballan, Bacchus Marsh and Wendouree stations.
Victorian Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle said the new passing loops at Ballan and Millbrook are now in operation providing more reliable services along the line.
“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.”
“This upgrade means that Ballan Station now has an additional 100 services each week, with trains every 20 minutes during the peak and every 40 minutes between the peaks.”
“The project has delivered benefits not only for passengers and local communities along the line, but also contractors and suppliers with more than 40 businesses in our region involved in the works on the Ballarat Line Upgrade,”
A new timetable started on Sunday 31 January, with passengers now benefitting from trains every 20 minutes during the peak, and every 40 minutes between the peaks.
Service benefits are being delivered along the length of the Ballarat Line, including:
- an extra 100 new weekly services for passengers from Ballarat
- the upgraded Ballan Station sees 100 new services available for passengers each week
- Melton passengers can access an extra 140 weekly services stopping at the station, and Caroline Springs 125 new services
- Bacchus Marsh passengers have 25 new services to choose from, with more express services between Bacchus Marsh and Southern Cross Station.
Victorian Member for Melton Steve McGhie thanked the communities along the Ballarat line for their patience.
“We again thank passengers for their patience while we completed the critical infrastructure which has delivered huge benefits for passengers on the Ballarat Line,” Mr McGhie said.
Passengers can view the new Ballarat Line timetable at ptv.vic.gov.au, and find more information about the completed project at regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/ballarat
The Ballarat Line Upgrade is part of the Australian and Victorian governments’ investment of more than $4 billion in the Regional Rail Revival program, which is upgrading every regional passenger rail line in Victoria and creating jobs and local supplier opportunities.