Regional Rail Link line work ends but services won't expand until 2015

BALLARAT residents will have to wait until next year to see extra train services result from the Regional Rail Link Project despite the last major set of works on the line for the project being completed on Tuesday. 

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Trains will resume services on the line from Wednesday, leaving commuters hoping they will see the results of the work conducted over the school holidays. 

Government spokeswoman Jess Maguire said commuters would see dedicated V/Line tracks completed between Sunshine and Southern Cross Station.

“By providing dedicated V/Line tracks, Regional Rail Link will create capacity for extra services in the future, which will progressively be delivered after RRL’s completion in the first half of 2015,” she said. 

“After the current rail line closures, Ballarat trains will begin using new dedicated regional platforms three and four at Footscray Railway Station and continue using dedicated platforms three and four at Sunshine Railway Station, and will have a streamlined journey from Footscray to Southern Cross Station platforms one to eight via the North Melbourne rail flyover.”

The addition of extra services has repeatedly been mooted as one major benefits of the project. The changes made to the rail network are expected to cut the number of delays experienced by Ballarat commuters once their V/Line service reaches Melbourne, with the service unable to reach its monthly punctuality goal so far this year. 

However, as previously reported, Ballarat trains will no longer stop at North Melbourne Station, causing a concern to some commuters.

Ms Maguire said the coach services replacing trains over the shutdown periods had not caused too many problems for commuters.

“Feedback has generally related to coach replacement services and has told us that, while many customers prefer the train, they understand the need for coach services while works are carried out in the rail corridor,” she said.

matthew.dixon@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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