Geelong speaks up on fast rail

The chance to shape Geelong’s transport future will be top of the agenda when the Geelong Fast Rail Reference Group holds its inaugural meeting today.

A fast rail link from Geelong to Melbourne would slash travel times between Victoria’s capital and its second city.

As work gathers pace on the proposed link, the local reference group will help Rail Projects Victoria assess fast rail options as part of the Western Rail Plan.

The group will be chaired by Member for Geelong Christine Couzens and includes community representatives living in and around Geelong, along with stakeholders from councils, businesses, transport users, indigenous groups and educational institutions.

Seven members of the 18-strong reference group are community representatives with strong links to the area, ensuring local voices are heard on this critical project.

The group will also discuss other major transport projects in the Geelong area, including the essential $736 million Waurn Ponds duplication, which will build 11 kilometres of track between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations and remove the dangerous and congested level crossings at Fyans Street and Surf Coast Highway.

The government has committed $150 million for the Western Rail Plan, including the full separation of regional and metro services on the Geelong and Ballarat lines – the first step in delivering fast rail to these cities.