The Waurn Ponds Station upgrade has almost reached completion, with Geelong line passengers set to expect more frequent and reliable train services.
From 29 May 2022, the upgrade will enable 20 peak and shoulder peak services to be extended to and from Waurn Ponds Station each week, with two extended services in the morning and two in the evening on weekdays.
As a new timetable comes into effect, nine-car VLocity trains will also be introduced on three Wyndham Vale services to help boost capacity along the south-west corridor and create space for 50 per cent more passengers on those services.
The project will also extend platforms at Sunshine Station to allow nine-car VLocity trains to stop there in the future.
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “We’re delivering for passengers on the Geelong Line, completing projects like the Waurn Ponds Station upgrade to provide better and more reliable services to growing communities in the region.
“This upgrade will enable more trains in the peak – which is when they’re needed most – and get passengers where they need to go.”
Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, said, “Running longer, nine-car VLocity trains on select Wyndham Vale services will improve capacity on this busy corridor and help create more space on both Geelong and Wyndham Vale services, particularly in peak periods.”
Finishing touches on the station were completed earlier this month while coaches replaced trains on sections of the Geelong and Warrnambool lines.
Driver training will take place this week to ensure drivers are familiar with the new infrastructure before services return.
Waurn Ponds Station’s new second platform and pedestrian overpass, as well as ramps, lifts and stairs will be open to passengers when trains return to the line on 28 May.
The new walking and cycling path at the upgraded Waurn Ponds Station to extend the existing path on Baanip Boulevard will also be complete – giving passengers access to the station from the south side for the first time.
Member for South Barwon, Darren Cheeseman, said, “The completion of the Waurn Ponds Station Upgrade will deliver significant benefits to passengers – making it quicker, safer and more convenient to travel across the network with more services and better access to the station.”
Early works will also get underway on the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Duplication, to prepare the rail corridor for around 8km of track duplication.
Work crews will remove vegetation and start earthworks to allow for the relocation and upgrade of Barwon Water pipes currently located where new track will be laid.
Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens, said, “This upgrade will mean even better service for Geelong commuters – and with early works commencing on the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds duplication, we’re building the train network Geelong commuters want and need.”
Final designs for the project are being influenced by feedback from the local community, with the preferred contractor taking into account feedback received through recent engagement.
A ‘What we Heard’ report has been released and further community consultation will occur over the coming months.
The upgrades form part of the Australian and Victorian Government’s more than $4 billion investment in the Regional Rail Revival program, which is upgrading every passenger rail line in Victoria and creating more than 3,000 jobs.
Detailed planning and development work is also progressing to help define the first stage of Geelong Fast Rail.
A comprehensive program of site investigations has been underway along the Werribee corridor since July 2021, with more than 170 boreholes and test pits drilled to test ground conditions and help inform designs.
A community day will be held at Waurn Ponds Station to celebrate the completion of the project on Sunday 29 May.