REGIONAL RAIL LINK TO STREAMLINE TRAIN SERVICES
From the Minister for Public TransportMonday, 08 December 2008
The Minister for Public Transport, Lynne Kosky, said Regional Rail Link would provide a faster connection between Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Melbourne for Regional Fast Rail services, as well as regional passenger services across Victoria.
“V/Line is now experiencing passenger figures at a 60-year record. Our investment into regional rail has paid off and now we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the network can grow, by adding more tracks and carriages to run more train services,” Ms Kosky said.
“The Brumby Government is taking action on transport, so that Victorians can have the best transport network in Australia.
“Delivering the best transport system in Australia will mean Victorians can spend less time commuting and more time with family and friends.”
Regional Rail Link will see the construction of 44 kilometres of twin track from West Werribee to Southern Cross Station via Tarneit and Sunshine, providing for the first time separate tracks for regional and metropolitan trains.
“Our $38 billion action plan also will generate up to 10,000 jobs a year during construction, resulting in more than 100,000 jobs over the life of the plan,” Ms Kosky said.
“In tougher global times, the Brumby Government is taking action to deliver thousands of jobs now and to build for our next era of prosperity.
“The new link will mean quicker and more convenient access between key rural and regional centres and Melbourne and support population growth now and into the future.”
Ms Kosky said that as well as the 44 kilometres of twin track between West Werribee and Southern Cross Station, Regional Rail Link would also deliver a new rail bridge over the Maribyrnong River and the rebuilding of Sunshine station with extra platforms.
“Action starts now with the construction of new platforms 15 and 16 at Southern Cross Station, exclusively for regional passenger trains,” she said.
Ms Kosky said Regional Rail Link would also deliver benefits for metro trains, and was the biggest single investment in the metro system since the City Loop.
“Regional Rail Link will create extra capacity on the Werribee, Sydenham and Craigieburn lines by separating V/Line and suburban trains, enabling the system to carry more than 9,000 additional passengers every hour,” she said.
“Regional Rail Link is a key element of transforming Melbourne’s railway into a Metro style system offering better services and limiting the number of conflicts between train lines and regional and metropolitan trains.”
Regional Rail Link has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia as a short-term priority for Commonwealth support under the Building Australia Fund.
“While the precise timing and staging of the project is to be finalised, we have undertaken significant planning and works could start soon after agreement with the Commonwealth,” Ms Kosky said.
Regional Rail Link will be complemented by up to 74 new carriages to run on V/Line’s busiest lines meaning longer trains and more seats for passengers.
Ms Kosky said the transformational investment was only made possible after almost a decade of rebuilding regional rail services after the neglect of the 1990s.
“Since 1999, we have invested more than $1 billion in new trains and tracks for the regional network and this project will mean even quicker and more comfortable journeys for passengers,” she said.