The Victorian Government has called for expressions of interest from contractors for a multimillion-dollar contract to design and build important aspects of the Warrnambool and Geelong line upgrades.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals’ Leader and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said the contract would include a major upgrade to Waurn Ponds Station, as well as upgrades along the Warrnambool line to enable extra services and pave the way for VLocity trains to run on the line.

“We’re strongly encouraging business, including those in the Geelong and south-west regions, to register their interest in carrying out the work,” Mr McCormack said.

“The design and construction work for the upgrades will provide a great opportunity for local contractors and suppliers to get involved, bringing wider benefits for Geelong and south-west Victoria.”

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said the Warrnambool Line Upgrade would allow for a fifth daily return service between Warrnambool and Melbourne, and help pave the way for VLocity trains on the line.

“A new crossing loop on the line will make it easier for trains to pass each other, helping services recover more quickly from unexpected delays, and signalling upgrades will help boost reliability,” Ms Allan said.

“Upgrades to level crossings along the line will make crossings safer for motorists and train passengers. Work on these is being undertaken by V/Line and is already underway.”

The Geelong Line Upgrade will include a second platform, and additional track at Waurn Ponds Station will mean trains can pass each other at this point on the line and allow more Geelong services to be extended to Waurn Ponds.

A new pedestrian link at the station will create a user-friendly, safe and accessible connection for station users.

Planning and site investigations for the Warrnambool Line Upgrade are already underway. Construction is scheduled to begin by late 2019, with a target completion date of late 2020.

Construction on the Geelong Line Upgrade is scheduled to begin by 2020, with a target completion date of 2021.

Rail Projects Victoria (RPV) is overseeing the projects and has already begun a pre-qualification process to identify companies qualified to tender for the design and construction of the upgrades.

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