$750 million for South Geelong to Waurn Ponds rail upgrade

The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government has committed an additional $700 million to deliver Stages 2 and 3 of the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Rail Upgrade to increase the capacity and reliability of the line, bringing its total commitment to $750 million.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said better rail services for the region are crucial for greater access to jobs, education and other services in the Melbourne CBD, as well as affordable housing.

“These works will increase capacity on the line, supporting more frequent and reliable services while also reducing crowding,” Mr McCormack said.

“This funding builds on our $50 million commitment in the 2018–19 Budget, bringing the total Federal Liberal and Nationals Government contribution to $750 million. This vital improvement compliments our earlier commitment to improve rail services to the people of the Geelong region through our $2 billion commitment for fast rail between Melbourne and Geelong.

“The upgrade will also reduce pressure on the congested road network by encouraging more Waurn Ponds commuters to take the train.

“Stage 2 will duplicate 12.6 kilometres of track from South Geelong to Waurn Ponds, boosting capacity to allow more frequent services.

“It will also deliver a second platform and upgrade the existing stations at South Geelong and Marshall, a new rail bridge over the Barwon River and grade separation of the level crossings at Fyans Street and the Surf Cost Highway.”

Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson said the Government is committing a further $4 million to develop a business case for the section of track between the Geelong station and the South Geelong station (Stage 3) through its Major Project Business Case Fund.

“The Stage 3 works to increase the capacity of the Geelong rail tunnel, located between Geelong station and South Geelong station, will be informed by the business case,” Ms Henderson said.

“The 422-metre-long South Geelong Tunnel, which is reaching the end of its useful life, is single track and has a steep grade that limits capacity. Final costs for Stage 3 will be determined by the business case.”

“The investments builds on the Government’s $99 million commitment for upgrades of the Geelong line under the Regional Rail Revival Program, being funded in partnership with the Victorian Government.

“The Geelong Line Upgrade includes delivery of a second station at Waurn Ponds, additional track and a pedestrian link, as well as the preservation of the Armstrong Creek transit corridor.   

“The Government’s $2 billion will bring fast rail to life between Geelong and Melbourne, cutting the 80-kilometre journey in half to 32 minutes.”