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DRILLING work to test soil quality along the Geelong railway line may pave the way for the duplication of the line to Waurn Ponds.
Drilling at 15 locations between Geelong and Waurn Ponds will form part of the $4 million railway planning project.
Information from the drilling process will be put into the business case for the duplication of the line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
It will also consider upgrading the South Geelong rail tunnel, signalling and stations.
Geelong MP Christine Couzens said the drilling will check ground conditions to help plan infrastructure options to support the future need.
“Building a strong business case and design options ensures we have all the facts to be able to deliver more frequent and reliable services Geelong passengers need,” Ms Couzens said.
Yesterday drilling started near GMHBA Stadium at the southern end of Gheringhap St, and investigations to test ground conditions will be completed in coming months.
V/Line boss James Pinder has previously told the Geelong Advertiser the duplication of the Geelong line will allow the rail operator to run more services.
Trips on the Geelong line have more than doubled in the past decade and made up about 44 per cent of those taken across the regional network last year.
Mr Pinder said earlier this year it is a challenge to keep pace with passenger growth despite the addition of stations, trains and infrastructure upgrades.
The single rail track between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds is currently regarded as a bottle neck by commuters, limiting V/Line’s ability to run more frequent and reliable services for passengers south of Geelong.
Earlier this year the Federal Government set aside $110m for the duplication of the railway line.
Transport for Victoria will hold community consultation sessions for local residents on December 4 at the Geelong library and at the Grovedale Neighbourhood House on December 5.
The State Government is contributing $3 million to the business case for the project with $1 million coming from the Federal Government. It is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.
This article first appeared on www.geelongadvertiser.com.au
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