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The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with delivering fast rail to Geelong, while working to run more trains and making station facilities better for passengers in the region.
Expressions of interest are now open for the Fast Rail Reference Group, which will work alongside technical advisers to get on with this vital project.
Local community members and key stakeholder organisations will play a vital role in shaping the project, with the first meeting set for next month, once the final local representatives and groups have been chosen. The group will be chaired by Member for Geelong Christine Couzens.
Aurecon Jacobs Mott MacDonald Joint Venture (AJM JV) will also provide specialist advice to make this major rail investment a reality. The group consists of three companies chosen for their world-class rail expertise, who assisted the Labor Government in planning the Metro Tunnel after being appointed to an advisor role in 2015.
The Government has provided $50 million for detailed investigations of fast rail infrastructure upgrades, costs and train requirements to deliver fast rail to Geelong as part of the Airport Rail Link.
Upgrades to both the Warrnambool and Geelong lines are already underway as part of the Labor Government’s $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival, which is bringing better services to every major regional rail line and supporting more than 1,000 jobs.
Work is now underway on the $160 million Geelong Line Upgrade to deliver more frequent and reliable services for passengers. The project will deliver a second platform and additional track at Waurn Ponds, meaning trains can pass each other at this point of the line, which would allow more Geelong services to be extended to Waurn Ponds and boost reliability.
Waurn Ponds passengers are benefitting from more travel options since the new V/Line timetable started last month, following the extension of three existing weekday Geelong services.
Armstrong Creek will also be receiving its first bus route, with planning underway to give passengers better access to trains at Waurn Ponds Station and Deakin University. The new route will also give residents more options in getting around to the local shops, work or school.
Locals are already finding it easier to park at Marshall Station with 50 new car parks now complete, while a new entry and exit to the car park from Drews Road is helping reduce congestion during peak times.
Construction is underway to upgrade 200 car parks at South Geelong Station, and Geelong Station is receiving a make-over including a fresh coat of paint, while North Geelong Station will receive a parkiteer bike cage.
A re-elected Labor Government will duplicate track between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations to enable ten-minute peak services on the Geelong line with more services starting and finishing at Waurn Ponds. This project will also remove the dangerous and congested level crossings at Fyans Street and Surf Coast Highway and begin planning for a rail link to Armstrong Creek.
To respond to the EOI for the reference group, visit railprojects.vic.gov.au. Nominations close on Monday, 8 October 2018.
Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“Whether it’s fast rail, more trains or new car parks, only Labor will deliver better and more reliable transport services that Geelong and Surf Coast passengers deserve.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville
“As our region continues to grow, we’re doing the work to build faster rail links and better services to get more people where they need to go sooner.”
Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens
“This massive investment in rail in Geelong and the Surf Coast will change lives and make it easier for locals to get to work, school and back home every day.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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