Hundreds of train drivers prepare for more Ballarat line services
More than 300 V/Line train drivers are learning to drive on new infrastructure, in preparation for dozens of extra services to run on the Ballarat line.
Drivers are familiarising themselves with key improvements delivered as part of the Ballarat Line Upgrade, including additional tracks, updated signalling and new platforms.
V/Line’s 46 Ballarat depot drivers and a further 274 Melbourne-based drivers are completing training in the classroom and in the driving simulator, as well as on-track training along the line.
Practical Driver Trainers are guiding staff through the new infrastructure, which includes second platforms at Wendouree, Ballan and Bacchus Marsh stations and new passing loops at Ballan and Millbrook.
The drivers are familiarising themselves with the locations of signals, allowed speeds, platform stopping locations and braking points on the upgraded line.
The training program involves trains running along the Ballarat line both during the day and at night, so pedestrians and drivers are reminded to obey the warning signs at level crossings.
V/Line has recruited more than 100 trainee drivers over the past three years to support its growing network and help deliver more services.
The final phase of works on the Victorian and Australian governments’ Ballarat Line Upgrade is drawing to a close, with the vital commissioning work ensuring the new signalling system and infrastructure is ready for trains to use.
More than 250 crew have worked around the clock since 28 December to integrate the new track and infrastructure into the existing rail line – with all resurfacing and track duplication work completed at seven level crossings in the first nine days of the disruption, minimising disruption for communities along the line in Bacchus Marsh, Maddingley and Ballan.
Coaches will continue to replace trains on sections of the Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough lines until Saturday 30 January 2021 for final works, before passenger trains return to the Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough lines on Sunday 31 January, when and commuters will enjoy 125 new weekly services as part of a new timetable.
Passengers can view the new timetable at vline.com.au/timetables.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison
“I’m so excited to see Ballarat passengers benefiting from the Ballarat Line Upgrade and it’s crucial we give drivers and staff the right training to use this great new infrastructure.”
“The drivers on the Ballarat line are committed to delivering safe and reliable services and I thank them for their hard work during this training program.”