Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project

The Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project will deliver significant rail upgrades around Ballarat, to provide faster, more reliable freight and passenger services.

The $130 million Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project will deliver a number of track and signaling improvements which maximises the benefits of both the Murray Basin Rail Project and Ballarat Line Upgrade.

The project will separate freight and passenger trains in and around the Ballarat rail network, providing faster and more reliable freight paths from the Murray Basin region to the ports and reducing interfaces with passenger trains.

The project includes funding contributions from the Victorian and Commonwealth governments.

Rail Projects Victoria will work with Transport for Victoria and V/Line to seek feedback from the freight industry as it finalises the project.

The Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project will:

  • untangle congested rail pathways through the Ballarat station precinct - separating broad-gauge passenger services from standard gauge freight service;
  • remove the Armstrong Street Bridge single track bottleneck, duplicating one kilometre of track between Ballarat Station and improve the track layout through the Ballarat rail corridor;
  • ensure a minimum of 42 weekly return freight paths from the Murray Basin region through Ballarat, with the ability to increase to 65 if required via the Ararat and Maryborough loop;
  • transform signalling systems: reduce the number of signalling systems on the Ballarat corridor and upgrade the 1970’s Ballarat signalling system to a modern system;
  • allow greater line speed for freight services within the Ballarat Precinct through improved track geometry and the removal of congestion points; and
  • provide for the future uplift of passenger services including:
    • a 5th daily V/Line service to Ararat;
    • future additional services for Maryborough;
    • retain the dual-gauge connection between Maryborough and Dunolly paving the way for future passenger rail to Dunolly.

Media release