Geelong line the first to reap the benefits of Regional Rail Link
- First section of Regional Rail Link to open on 22 December
- V/Line trains to have dedicated tracks all the way from Geelong to Southern Cross
- New tracks and platforms will mean a new timetable for Geelong line passengers
Victoria's Regional Rail Link project will take a major step forward in December 2013, with the opening of the project’s first section of dedicated V/Line tracks.
The new tracks between South Kensington and Southern Cross will give Geelong line trains, running into platforms 15 and 16, an uninterrupted path in and out of Southern Cross.
Highlighting the significant progress of this $4.8 billion project, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder today said that the new tracks and platforms would open on Sunday 22 December.
“Regional Rail Link is on budget and ahead of schedule. Passengers will progressively start seeing benefits well before the project’s completion,” Mr Mulder said.
“Regular Geelong line passengers will no doubt have experienced frustrating delays on the approach to Southern Cross where the tracks are shared by V/Line and metropolitan trains.
“The opening of the dedicated V/Line tracks and new platforms means that any Geelong line trains scheduled to arrive at, or depart from platforms 15 or 16 will have a clear run in and out of the station.”
When Regional Rail Link is complete, V/Line trains will have dedicated tracks all the way from Geelong to Southern Cross.
Regional Rail Link Authority CEO Corey Hannett said the opening of the track into platforms 15 and 16 at Southern Cross marked a significant milestone for Regional Rail Link.
“The opening of the new track and platforms marks the completion of our first work package,‘Southern Cross’,” Mr Hannett said.
“The new track removes the first of many bottlenecks that this project will address, providing a more streamlined and reliable journey for Geelong passengers.”
Mr Mulder said the opening of the new tracks and platforms would mean a new timetable for Geelong line passengers, with some trains departing earlier.
“Geelong line trains will no longer stop at North Melbourne, however all Geelong line trains will connect with Metro trains at Footscray and Southern Cross,” Mr Mulder said.
“While most Geelong trains will use the new platforms, some will not, so it is important that passengers check passenger information displays at Southern Cross before they travel.”
V/Line Chief Executive Theo Taifalos said that it was exciting to see the progress being made on the Regional Rail Link project because the benefits for V/Line passengers will be immense.
“Removing the bottleneck and having dedicated tracks for regional trains into Melbourne will result in greater reliability,” Mr Taifalos said.
For more information about Regional Rail Link, visit www.regionalraillink.vic.gov.au or follow @rrlproject on twitter.
Source: Victoria Government media release.