The Australian and Victorian governments are upgrading the Ballarat line to deliver more trains and improved reliability for Melbourne's outer western suburbs, Melton, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and Ballarat.
The project will enable much needed extra services in the morning and afternoon peak, plus a train every 40 minutes off-peak for these growing communities.
Construction started in October 2017 while upgrades to stations and track duplication will start this year, with the project to be completed by late 2019.
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The Ballarat Line Upgrade includes:
- duplication of 18 kilometres of track between Deer Park West and Melton
- upgrading Rockbank station and extending platforms, constructing a new pedestrian link between platforms and building a new car park
- additional platforms at Wendouree, Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations, with new pedestrian links between platforms
- a new station at Toolern, between Rockbank and Melton, funded by the Victorian Government’s Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution
- new stabling facilities at Maddingley, and the removal of stabling facilities at Bacchus Marsh
- duplication of three kilometres of track between Bacchus Marsh station and Maddingley stabling facilities
- a new 4.5-kilometre passing loop at Ballan
- track duplication and station upgrades at Wendouree
- a new four-kilometre passing loop at Millbrook, making it possible to close the existing Bungaree loop and remove five level crossings.
The Ballarat Line Upgrade is being delivered by the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA).
MMRA is responsible for the planning and implementation of the Regional Rail Revival program on behalf of the State Government of Victoria.
A consortium comprising Lendlease, Coleman Rail and SMEC is the construction contractor for the Ballarat Line Upgrade, with MMRA and V/Line as alliance partners.
The number of people choosing to live in Melbourne's outer west is growing, with Melton one of Australia's fastest growing municipalities and Ballarat representing Victoria's third-most populated city.
The Ballarat Line Upgrade will enable much needed extra services in the morning and afternoon peak, and a train every 40 minutes off-peak for these growing communities, and all others along the rail corridor.
Passing loops will provide more ways for trains to pass each other, which will help services recover from unexpected delays more quickly.
The second platform and new tracks at Wendouree station will create enough space for trains to pass each other for the first time, fixing the current problem that sees delayed services from Melbourne terminate at Ballarat and passengers forced onto replacement buses.
The removal of five level crossings as part of the decommissioning of the Bungaree loop will improve safety for motorists and the local community.
A new station at Toolern will cater to the growing population and take pressure off Melton station. The upgrade will also pave the way for future electrification of the line to Melton, creating a new metropolitan train line into the city.