CONSTRUCTION on a long-awaited train passing loop at Rowsley is yet to begin, despite the project being first promised in the lead-up to the 2010 state election.
The project is seen as one of the keys to improving rail reliability, as well as catering to extra services into the future with booming patronage numbers.
However, the short passing loop will have taken more than five years to come to fruition once it is completed at the end of this year, with the former Coalition government not budgeting the project until 2014.
“Preliminary works on the Rowsley Passing Loop project are under way, with feature surveys and geotechnical assessments completed and preliminary signalling and track design work progressing well,” Public Transport Victoria spokeswoman Andrea Duckworth said.
“Detailed flora and fauna surveys are also being carried out in order to gain all relevant permits before on-site work commences.”
Despite the long wait since the project was announced, Ms Duckworth said the project was running to schedule.
“On-site construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2015, and completion expected at the end of 2015,” she said.
“The installation of a new crossing loop at Rowsley will help to improve punctuality and reliability on the Ballarat line.”
She said there would be no significant delays for customers expected once construction gets under way.
Due to the single-track nature of much of the Ballarat railway line, little can be done to increase the number of services if work is not done to increase its capacity.
During the election, both major political parties committed to a number of new trains for V/Line services.
However, it remains to be seen how many extra services will be added to the Ballarat line.