Budget boost for Western Rail Plan

The Western Rail Plan today received a $100 million boost as outlined in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

The investment will fund the detailed planning and design works to deliver the full separation of regional and metro services on the Geelong and Ballarat lines.

This separation is the first step the delivering fast rail to the regions, and will result in fewer stops, faster trips and less crowded trains.

The investment will continue the technical work required to deliver two new electrified metro lines to Melton and Wyndham Vale, with the Wyndham Vale line potentially becoming the western section of the Suburban Rail Loop.

The additional tracks between Sunshine and the CBD would enable more trains to run, most likely through a new tunnel that would be part of Melbourne Airport Rail Link.

The Western Rail Plan will also look at express fast rail services on the Geelong and Ballarat lines, including the potential full electrification of these lines with new electric regional rolling stock.

Rail Projects Victoria has already begun a program of investigations and technical studies to better understand existing conditions along the Melton, Werribee, Wyndham Vale and Geelong corridors.

Staging of the Western Rail Plan is being considered alongside the planning underway for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link business case, which is due in 2020.