Delivering the Ballarat Line Upgrade – Ministerial Response

Scroll down for the Minister’s response, or click here to discover more about how we’re working for Wendouree.

Original adjournment matter from Juliana Addison MP to Parliament –

I direct my adjournment matter to the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, and the action that I seek is for her to provide me with a detailed update of the status of the Ballarat line upgrade and the benefits it will provide for the people of Ballarat, Wendouree and the communities to our west.

Coaches are currently replacing trains between Southern Cross station, Ballarat and Wendouree until Sunday. I wish to take this opportunity to thank passengers for their patience during this period. We understand that the disruption does cause an inconvenience.

I would also like to thank V/Line staff and the drivers of the replacement coaches, as well as the team at Regional Rail Revival and everyone who is working hard on the Ballarat line upgrade to improve Ballarat train services.

I look forward to the minister’s response and to letting my community know how the Andrews Labor government is delivering for Ballarat.


Response from the Hon Jacinta Allan MP, Minister for Transport Infrastructure (23rd January 2020) –

I thank the member for her question.

Major construction on the Ballarat Line Upgrade is now complete, after more than two years and almost 1.5 million hours worked since construction started in 2017.

Major construction periods on the Ballarat Line in November and early December were instrumental in the team completing station upgrades and commissioning the 18km of track duplication between Deer Park West and Melton, which has been in use since Monday 2 December 2019.

I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we’ve completed this vital work.

Upgrades are now complete at Wendouree, Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations and Rockbank Station has been completely rebuilt, with passengers using the transformed station since late August 2019. The new Cobblebank Station also opened on 2 December 2019, at the same time as the track duplication enabled two new peak services between Melton and Southern Cross Station and new bus services began running from Cobblebank and Rockbank to neighbouring communities.

New carparks have been built at Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Rockbank and Cobblebank. All five stations that have been upgraded, rebuilt or are new include accessible overpasses linking the platforms, better security, improved bus and cycling access and landscaping, making the stations more accessible and comfortable for all passengers.

In the coming months we’ll commission second platforms and track at Wendouree, Ballan and Bacchus Marsh stations, as well as the passing loops at Ballan and Millbrook.

This will improve reliability for the entire line, including Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough, by providing significantly more opportunities for trains to pass each other and helping services recover more quickly from delays.

Following the completion of vital safety testing and driver training, these works will enable the delivery of much-needed extra peak services and trains every 40 minutes in the off-peak for Ballarat line passengers.

The half-a-billion-dollar Ballarat Line Upgrade is the biggest investment in the line since Regional Rail Link, which separated metropolitan and regional trains.