01 October 2015

Henderson launches campaign to duplicate rail for Geelong’s southern suburbs

I was delighted to host the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Warren Truss MP, in Corangamite today as I launched my campaign for better rail services for Geelong.

As Geelong and south west Victoria continues to grow, the duplication of the rail track – particularly between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds – is becoming a greater priority for our region.

The current single track between Geelong and Waurn Ponds (15km approximately) is a choke point on the line as trains running in the opposite direction cannot pass each other.  This places many constraints on the train services that can be offered to and from Geelong, Colac and south west Victoria.

For instance, thirteen trains leave Geelong station prior to 8am; however only six depart from Waurn Ponds.

Services are also constrained by the fact there is only one operational platform at South Geelong and Marshall stations. 

The jointly funded Federal/State Regional Rail Link project was intended to deliver better outcomes for all commuters especially the people of Geelong and Corangamite.  The result has been far from satisfactory – with overcrowded trains and unreliable timetables, due in part to a lack of rolling stock which State Labor previously failed to purchase.

The duplication of the rail line will also assist with increasing the frequency of the Geelong to Colac train service, from its current three services per day.

This is a project supported by the Public Transport Users Association as well as G21.   Funding will be required to conduct a full feasibility study and business case and I would welcome the Victorian Government’s support for this project. 

The Geelong line is V/Line’s busiest commuter line with 4.02 million trips made in 2013-14 – an additional 130,000 in 2013-14 and total growth of 18.5 per cent during the past five financial years to 2013-14.  The Warrnambool line carries about 500,000 passengers per annum.

30 September 2015