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 project will deliver a number of track and signalling 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 ports and reducing interfaces with passenger trains.

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

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

The project will:

  • untangle congested rail pathways through the Ballarat station precinct - separating broad gauge passenger services from standard gauge freight service
  • 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 1970s 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 fifth weekday passenger 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.