The Victorian Government has announced that the Geelong rail line is due to undergo level crossing removal works in April and May 2023, with a free express ferry to replace the trains during the construction.
Victorian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan, said, “Whether it’s removing level crossing removals, upgrading train lines or building new stations, we’re setting our state up for the future and we thank everyone for their patience while we get on with delivering a significant project for Geelong.”
Geelong trains will be disrupted in various sections from Tuesday 11 April to Wednesday 3 May 2023 while crews work to remove the Mt Derrimut Road, Deer Park level crossing, build the new Deer Park Station and carry out V/Line maintenance.
During this time, coach replacements and shuttle buses will connect with metropolitan services and a special free express ferry service will transport people between Geelong (Steampacket Pier) and Docklands (Harbour Esplanade) while sections of the rail line are closed.
Member for South Barwon, Darren Cheeseman, said, “We’ll always find ways to minimise disruption for commuters while we deliver work that will be transformative for Geelong.”
Victoria’s Big Build has partnered with Port Phillip Ferries to provide the direct ferry service for passengers each weekday while travel changes are in place.
It will operate Monday to Friday, with one service travelling from Geelong to Docklands at 7am, and a return service in the evening from Docklands to Geelong at 5.30pm. Free parking is available at Geelong Station and is around 10 minutes’ walk from the pier.
The journey will take about 90 minutes and the accessible ferry features comfortable seating, work tables, charging stations, a cafe and free Wi-Fi. Bookings for the ferry service are essential and must be made in advance online.
Once the Mt Derrimut Road level crossing is gone, it will mean the line is boom gate-free between the city and Deer Park, easing delays for the 23,000 vehicles that pass through the crossing every day, where boom gates can be down for up to 60 per cent of the morning peak.
The Labor Government’s program of Big Build works aims to boost the economy and create more than 50,000 jobs. Member for Geelong, Christine Couzens, said, “Removing this level crossing will ease congestion in Geelong, making travel easier and helping thousands of people get home safer and faster every day.”