Passenger rail will soon return to Dunolly in Victoria, with the state government allocating $130 million to a new rail infrastructure project which will also increase future train services to Maryborough.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, said the benefits of the Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project include enabling passenger services to move through the Ballarat Station precinct more easily.

“We’re getting on with upgrading Victoria’s regional rail infrastructure, bringing it up to a standard to support future increases to passenger services,” Ms Allan said.

The Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project will include converting the existing broad-gauge track between Ballarat and Maryborough to dual gauge.

The project will retain the dual-gauge connection between Maryborough and Dunolly to allow future passenger rail to Dunolly.

It will also untangle the congested rail network through the Ballarat Station precinct, creating separate paths for passenger and freight lines, including Maryborough services.

The project includes signalling upgrades and redesigning the tracks through the station to remove congestion points, allowing trains to move through the area more easily.

The Armstrong Street Bridge in Ballarat will be replaced, and around 1km of track duplicated to allow two tracks to pass under the new bridge, getting rid of the existing bottleneck, allowing more space for trains to pass each other.

Work has already begun on the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program to upgrade every regional passenger line in Victoria, enabling more services and better reliability for train passengers throughout the state.

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