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FastTrack Ballarat a better rail service for our region.

06 Jun 2014

On behalf of the Committee for Ballarat Board and members, we warmly congratulate the FastTrack Ballarat project team and supporters for their hard work in lobbying for a better rail service for our region.

REVISED PROJECT OBJECTIVES

In the context of the upcoming State election and the State Government’s commitment to the Regional Rail Link (RRL) project, the FastTrack project team recognised a unique opportunity to realise some of the project’s objectives and that it was unlikely that funding commitments would be achieved for all original objectives. In light of this, the team agreed that a staged process would be the best approach and reduced the number of objectives in the short-term to give us the best chance of success.

Short-term focus

Long-term focus

While acknowledging the efficiencies to be gained from the Regional Rail Link project, Committee will continue to advocate a more reliable service, a more frequent service (especially during peak times) and faster travel times, as detailed in our State election strategy document Advancing Ballarat & Western Region, Preparing for Growth:

We will continue to lobby for a funding commitment for a feasibility study into:

FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENTS – STATE BUDGET 2014

Committee welcomes recent funding announcements that support our FastTrack project objectives. We will continue to push for funding for a feasibility study (see above).

Free wi-fi, removal of blackspots, passing loop at Rowsley and more parking at Ballan

Note: the Minister for Public Transport & Roads Terry Mulder has told Committee that this will be delivered via towers (not satellite) and that no cost will be added to the ticket to deliver this service  

REGIONAL RAIL LINK PROJECT

We invite members to view a flyover video of the Regional Rail Link (RRL) project on our YouTube channel.

FastTrack Ballarat team – site visit of key RRL sites, Monday 26 May Members of the FastTrack Ballarat project team and selected members of the Committee for Ballarat Board had the opportunity to view key project sites and gain a better understanding of how the RRL works.

RRL project update

Benefits for users

Shorter travel time and more reliable service Dedicated regional rail and metro rail lines between Ballarat and Southern Cross Station will remove major bottlenecks for V/Line trains as they travel through Melbourne’s west. Grade separations and signal upgrades will also improve reliability by fixing signalling issues that are the cause of problems on extreme weather days.

More peak services for regional lines

Streamlining the journey will mean an extra Ballarat service in the morning and evening peak times – in the 2012-13 State Budget the State Government committed to purchase more rolling stock (at least 30 new individual V-line VLocity rail cars across the regional network).

MELBOURNE RAIL LINK PROJECT

What are the knock-on benefits for regional rail services? We welcome the announcement in the 2014 State Budget for investment in infrastructure as part of the Melbourne Rail Link project. As part of the site tour of the RRL on 26 May we had the opportunity to seek clarification about what this will mean for regional rail services, specifically:

INTERCONNECTIVITY WITH BUS SERVICES IN BALLARAT

A review of Ballarat’s bus network is needed On 10 April 2014 a letter was sent by Committee to the CEO of Public Transport Victoria (PTV) Mark Wild regarding the need for a review of the bus network in Ballarat to make sure the service meets the growing transport needs of Ballarat and the greater region. Specifically I referred him to the new network that began operating in Warrnambool in January 2014 and the timeliness with the RRL scheduled for completion in 2016.

Mr Wild’s reply on 2 May stated that the PTV is currently engaged in planning for an improved bus network for Ballarat to coincide with the completion of the RRL and that PTV will be engaging the local council and bus operator to refine the plans when the network drafting stage is complete.  

For a copy of the bulletin and photos please click here