Attribute a lot of that to Melton, as it was a few years ago when Bendigo included Sunbury numbers before the sparks.
Limiting sparks to Melton gives a win/win.
The Vline service from Ballarat is near enough full by Bacchus Marsh, and could just express from there.
Melton starting sparks would be full by Sunshine - and NOT over full.
Both services full but not a crush like it is now. It's called efficient use of resources.
John - @justarider
How is Bacchus Marsh grow attributed to Melton? To make more space available for Ballarat passengers extend the electrification to that location taking in Melton and Bacchus Marsh services on Metro trains and leaving capacity on V/Line for the continuing growth for Ballarat stations.
@bevans If you take both Bacchus Marsh and Melton off the Vline, you create a real possibility that the Ballarat train is now seen as lightly loaded. Good for the lucky few that have 2 seats to lounge on, but not very efficient.
Lightly loaded train runs the risk that the rolling stock can be better utilised elsewhere (ie Reduced
frequency - OUCH!!)
Comparison passenger count:
1. Ararat thru Ballan (Vline) = 984K, Bacchus thru Caroline S (Metro)= 1112K
2. Ararat thru Bacchus = 1291K, Melton thru Caroline S = 805K
3. Ararat thru Caroline S = 2096K
No matter how much you think Ballarat is growing,
Option 1. is a massive reduction in passengers that would not be recouped.
Option 2. might just get away with it
Source: Vline stats 2016/7 : ARA 40K, BFR 9K, WED 131K, BAL 604K, BLN 100K, BAH 307K
, MLT 726K
, RKB 19K, RVH 60K.