INCREASING the frequency of trains to and from Melbourne has been reiterated as a priority by Public Transport Victoria (PTV) upon completion of the Regional Rail Link (RRL) project.
The news will be comfort to some Ballarat commuters who are currently using coaches until January 19 while works on the project ramp up over the holiday period.
“PTV believes the key priorities for the Ballarat line are providing more frequent services to carry more passengers, and delivering a more reliable service with fewer delays – this is the focus of timetable changes and is what the RRL project will enable,” a PTV spokesperson said.
“By building new dedicated V/Line tracks separated from Metro services, there will be enough track space for extra services to cope with demand, as well as preventing conflicts with Metro trains, resulting in a more reliable service unaffected by Metro delays.”
It comes after The Courier revealed train times to Melbourne had gradually increased by 12 minutes since 2006, extending the travel time for the popular morning commute to one hour and 13 minutes.
PTV did not respond to The Courier’s questions in regards to the time goal for the timetabled
PTV has attributed this increase to longer dwell times as more commuters board the services.
The increase in times is also related to busier tracks with V/Line trains being held up by Metro services.
A Regional Rail Link Authority spokesperson confirmed the Victorian government had committed to purchasing new rolling stock which would allow for the extra services.
“When complete, Regional Rail Link will provide capacity for additional Ballarat services,” she said.
“Final timetables will be determined by Public Transport Victoria closer to the completion of works affecting the Ballarat line.”
Upon the completion the project will provide, for the first time, dedicated tracks for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo trains from Sunshine to Southern Cross station.