Regional Rail Connections

Transport Pillar

The Need

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 connectivity within the region.

The current Geelong-Melbourne rail service is overcrowded and suffers frequent delays. Since the Regional Rail Link began operation in 2015, passenger numbers have dramatically increased.

As well as being a regional train service, the link also serves the rapidly expanding metropolitan suburbs in Wyndham. Patronage on the Geelong line jumped 57 per cent in the link's first year, an extra 2.4 million journeys, because of two new outer suburban stations at Tarneit and Wyndham Vale.

During peak-hour, Geelong trains are at up to 140 per cent capacity. This means that 12 of the 16 morning peak trains are more than 100 per cent full, well before they reach Southern Cross Station.

A failure to separate suburban and regional trains will ultimately make Melbourne less accessible for G21 region residents. New, dedicated regional express tracks must be built for Geelong trains.

There is also a 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.

This also impacts 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.

Project aims

REDUCE TRAVEL TIMES TO MELBOURNE

Dedicated regional express tracks into central Melbourne will support fast rail.

The City of Greater Geelong have released an independent report  looking at delivering a fast rail service from regional cities to Melbourne.

INCREASE THE CAPACITY OF SERVICES TO MELBOURNE

Longer trains 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

Duplication of rail line Waurn Ponds to Geelong (funded)

Duplicating the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations will allow trains to pass each other. 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.

Geelong rail yard relocation (funded)

Relocation of the Geelong rail yard will help increase the number of peak commuter services south of Geelong.

Increase capacity on the Warrnambool line

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 is required.

Identify the Armstrong Creek Transport Corridor

The Armstrong Creek Transit Corridor will identify options for the public transport network to be extended.

Project Champion

Guy Wilson-Browne, General Manager City Services, City of Greater Geelong

What has been committed

The State and Federal Government have committed:

  • $2 billion to deliver fast rail between Geelong and Melbourne, cutting the 80km journey in half to 32 minutes
  • $700 million to fully duplicate the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds
  • $340 million to build 18 three-car trains for Geelong and Ballarat (to be delivered by 2021)
  • $147 million towards rail duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds Stations
  • $115 million for a train stabling and maintenance yard near Waurn Ponds
  • $114 million for a Warrnambool line upgrade including track and signals upgrades
  • $50 million for a feasability study investigating fast rail infrastructure between Geelong and Melbourne
  • $30 million for Armstrong Creek Transit corridor planning, including for a rail spur to the Armstrong Creek town centre
  • $25.9 million to construct the Waurn Ponds Railway Station, with 200 parking spaces (complete)
  • $10 million to build a new rail passing loop between Geelong and Warrnambool, funded under the $110 million Regional Rail Revival package
  • To update the express rail lines to run fast trains with the potential for full electrification of these lines with new electric regional rolling stock
  • Additional Geelong-Melbourne V/Line train services between 9am-3pm, with the off-peak Geelong service departing every 20 minutes
  • Stage 1 of a Marshall Railway Station upgrade.

What is required

A State Government commitment of:

  • dedicated regional express tracks into central Melbourne to allow faster travel times, a reduction in delays and improved service capacity
  • an increase in platform capacity on the Geelong-Melbourne rail network to accommodate nine-carriage trains
  • an increase rail service between Geelong and Colac/Warrnambool from four services a day to a minimum of five return services per day.

A commitment by State government to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.