The Victorian Government has announced an experienced consortium has been chose to build the $518 million Ballarat Line Upgrade.

The consortium of Lendlease, Coleman Rail and SMEC were chosen following a competitive process, and will duplicate 18km of track between Deer Park West and Melton, paving the way for future electrification to Melton.

“We’re not wasting a moment upgrading the Ballarat line, and every regional passenger line in Victoria,” Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews said.

The project will also deliver extra passing loops, new train stabling, better stations, and more car parking, and relocate stabling at Bacchus Marsh station to Maddingley, away from homes – making it quieter for local residents.

These upgrades will enable more trains, more often for passengers in Melbourne’s west and right along the Ballarat Line, including trains every 40 minutes off-peak.

The project will create up to 400 jobs during construction – part of the more than 1,000 jobs the Regional Rail Revival program will create across the state.

Since February 2017, more than 200 site investigations have been conducted and nearly 90 boreholes have been dug to understand ground conditions along the Ballarat corridor, and inform design and construction of the project.

Extensive community consultation has also been undertaken, including meetings with councils and landowners, an online survey completed by more than 150 people and engagement with more than 2,000 local passengers.

A final proposal will now be developed, with a contract due to be awarded in late 2017. Major construction is expected to start early next year.

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