The Victorian Government has allotted approximately $130 million towards the Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project which will untangle the Ballarat rail network as well as provide better freight paths to the ports from the Murray Basin region.
The Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project is going to deliver track and signalling improvements which are not covered by the original Murray Basin Rail Project.
This project is going to:
- Untangle congested rail pathways through the Ballarat station precinct - separating broad-gauge passenger services from standard gauge freight services
- Remove the Armstrong Street Bridge single track bottleneck, duplicating one kilometre of track between Ballarat Station and improve the track layout through the Ballarat rail corridor
- Ensure a minimum of 42 weekly return freight paths from the Murray Basin region through Ballarat, with the ability to increase to 65 if required via the Ararat and Maryborough loop
- Transform signalling systems: reduce the number of signalling systems on the Ballarat corridor and upgrade the 1970’s Ballarat signalling system to a modern system
- Allow greater line speed for freight services within the Ballarat Precinct through improved track geometry and the removal of congestion points
- Provide for the future uplift of passenger services, which included:
- A 5th daily V/Line service to Ararat
- Future additional services for Maryborough
- Retain the dual-gauge connection between Maryborough and Dunolly paving the way for future passenger rail to Dunolly
In order to finalise this project, Rail Projects Victoria will be working closely with Transport for Victoria and V/Line to seek feedback from the freight industry regarding the improvements.
“We’re continuing our unprecedented investment in regional rail infrastructure and investing in works to remove a major bottleneck in the Ballarat area to improve efficiencies between rail passenger and freight train operations.
“The Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project will ensure that we maximise the benefits of the Murray Basin Rail Project and the Ballarat Line Upgrade - that means more passenger services in the future and dedicated pathways for freight to the ports,” Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said.
In addition, works are also underway on the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program that will upgrade every regional rail line across Victoria.
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