The Victorian Government has announced it will deliver a $736 million project to duplicate an 11-kilometre section of rail between South Geelong and Warun Ponds stations if re-elected.
As a result of the upgrade, trains will be able to run every 10 minutes during peak times between Warun Ponds and Melbourne, providing up to 255 extra services from Warun Ponds, 235 services from Marshall and 45 services from South Geelong every week.
The Victorian Government will contribute $143 million towards the project, with the remaining 80 per cent of the funding to be secured through the Federal Government’s National Rail Program. A business case was submitted to Infrastructure Australia and the Federal Government in May this year.
Level crossings at Fyans Street and Surf Coast Highway will also be removed as part of the plan, which aims to remove a bottleneck causing delays on the Geelong line.
South Geelong and Marshall train stations will also be upgraded as part of the upgrade and a business case will be developed to fix the 400 metres long South Geelong tunnel bottleneck.
An additional 122 new car spaces will also be added at Marshall station and 58 spaces at South Geelong station.
The Victorian Government will also begin planning the next stage of work for a rail link from Marshall Station to Armstrong Creek as part of the Warun Ponds Duplication Project if re-elected.
The Warun Ponds Duplication Project will aim to create around 1300 jobs, with work to start in 2020 and finish by 2023.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the upgrade will give Geelong locals more train services and remove the boom gates for good.
“Geelong is growing and more people than ever are catching the train. We said we’d do the groundwork for the entire Geelong line to be duplicated to fix this and we have – but there’s more to do,” he said.
Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said the upgrade will be a game changer for locals commuting from Warun Ponds.
“It means trains every ten minutes during the morning peak, less crowding and a much better start to the day,” Ms Couzens said.