FastTrack Ballarat

A Committee for Ballarat project

FastTrack Ballarat

This project is focused on improving train travel between Ballarat and Melbourne for current users and future-proofing our rail service through early planning and subsequent interventions from successive state governments. We are concerned about current service inadequacies, the fast-growing pressure on our service and the lack of long-term planning to match the projected increase in demand.

Our Focus

  1. Driving the agenda to improve rail infrastructure that will improve rail links within our region, including access to Melbourne.
  2. Campaigning to improve the frequency and reliability of our rail service and achieve reliable mobile connectivity for the entire journey.
  3. Investigating what improvements will be delivered by the completion of the $4.2 billion Regional Rail Link (RRL) project.

Project Updates

For news and updates on our current work on this project, please see our latest news section

Our Performance 2015-16


What's Ahead

  1.  We will continue to push for the delivery of additional services: at least one per hour during peak-commuter periods by June 2016, two additional services per hour during peak-commuter periods by June 2018 and one additional service per hour during non-peak periods by June 2018.

  2. We will continue to place pressure on the Minister for Public Transport, the Hon Jacinta Allan, for the state government to conduct a feasibility study into the staged duplication of the Ballarat to Melbourne line. Specifically, we will push to achieve funding commitments by December 2016 to produce a strategic/business case for the electrification of a separate Melbourne–Melton line, duplication of Melton to Wendouree lines and provision of further additional rolling stock. This will provide the case for duplication of lines between Ballarat and Melbourne and achievement of modestly rapid, frequent and reliable services, after which implementation timelines can be established.

  3. Construction of the passing loop at Rowsley is due to commence in October 2015. The FastTrack Ballarat project team has a watching brief on this work planned for completion in April 2016.

  4. We will continue to push for funding for a second platform at Bacchus Marsh and a series of passing loops (to be identified in the study) and the extension of platforms.

  5. We will continue to push for additional rolling stock.

  6. The construction of a train-holding facility is being considered as part of the BWEZ freight hub development – the FastTrack Ballarat project team has a watching brief on this.

Duplication of the Ballarat to Melbourne line
The importance of the rail link for the region’s economic and social prosperity cannot be overstated. It not only provides a link to Melbourne for our residents and businesses, but also equally provides the opportunity for those in Melbourne and centres such as Melton to travel to Ballarat for business, education and tourism. While the Regional Rail Link project makes future provision for the electrification of a dedicated line from Southern Cross Station to Melton, this is still approximately 10–15 years away. We acknowledge that the duplication of the rail line is a costly infrastructure project, but believe it is one that could be staged over the next 30 years. We will continue to put pressure on the state government to start planning for this project.

Regional Rail Link Project
While we acknowledge and welcome the early completion of this $4.2 billion project in April 2015 that provides dedicated regional rail and metro rail lines between Ballarat and Southern Cross Station, the promised benefits have not yet been realised for Ballarat commuters, and there are significant issues to address to fix this. We will continue to put pressure on the state government to deliver the benefits promised, specifically shorter travel time and more reliable service and more peak services for regional lines.

Project team

Chair: Nick Beale (ODP Associates). Members: Angela Carey (Fairfax Media), Tony Chew (Community Member), Torben Fink-Jensen (Alstom), Daniel Moloney (Grounded Communications), Janet Dore (Chair Committee for Ballarat), Rodney Walton (Haymes), Melanie Robertson (CEO Committee for Ballarat), Committee for Ballarat Secretariat Support

This project is supported by