Two hundred extra rail services between Geelong and Melbourne each week will be one of the highlights of the new $3.65 billion Regional Rail Link Project - Melbourne's first major rail line in 80 years - set to open later this month.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allen announced the new timetables over the weekend, ahead of the June 21 opening of the project designed to remove major bottlenecks in Victoria's rail network. Ninety kilometres of new track has been laid.
“It’s here: more trains, more buses and better services for Melbourne’s west and Victoria’s biggest regional centre," she said.
“Labor’s Regional Rail Link will connect Wyndham Vale and Tarneit to the network and deliver metro-style services to Geelong, with trains every 10 minutes during the peak and at least every twenty minutes on weekdays.
“Getting Geelong trains onto dedicated V/line tracks will deliver extra Metro services, with more to be added later in the year with a broader metropolitan timetable change.”
The new route for Geelong trains will also deliver benefits for commuters on other lines with two extra peak hour services on the Werribee Line and four extra peak hour services stopping at Bacchus Marsh. Trains will also run at least every 20 minutes on weekdays to Deer Park Station, rather than every two hours as they currently do.
Ballarat and Bendigo services, which already use Regional Rail Link tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross Station, will also benefit from the timetable change. Ballarat will get an extra morning and evening peak service, and Bendigo services will see travel time improvements, with further improvements expected later in the year with the next metropolitan timetable change.
New bus networks in Wyndham Vale, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula will coincide with the opening of RRL, providing more extensive, frequent, reliable and direct bus services, coordinated with trains.
More information is available at ptv.vic.gov.au or by calling 1800 800 007 (6am – midnight daily).