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It’s full steam ahead for the separation of regional and metro services on the Geelong and Ballarat train lines.
The state government last week allocated $100 million, as part of its 2019-20 budget, to deliver detailed planning and design for the separation project.
It will create fewer stops, faster trips and less crowded trains on both lines.
The investment is part of the Western Rail Plan, which will also result in two new electrified metro lines, to Melton and Wyndham Vale.
Additional tracks will also be placed between Sunshine and the CBD to allow more trains to run – most likely through a new tunnel that would be part of airport rail link.
Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said it was vital the plan continued moving forward.
“The Western Rail Plan is one of the vital projects our growing city and state needs – electrifying the rail lines to the west to run more services to our booming suburbs and a step towards fast rail to Geelong and Ballarat,” she said.
“It’s part of our suburban rail and road blitz that is slashing congestion, boosting services and creating thousands of jobs.”
Express fast rail services on the Geelong and Ballarat lines, including full electrification of the lines, is also being explored by Rail Projects Victoria.
Investigations and technical studies are being carried out to better understand existing conditions along the Melton, Werribee, Wyndham Vale and Geelong corridors.
Community consultation is expected to begin later this year.
This article first appeared on www.starweekly.com.au
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