A new suburb named Thornhill Park could heap more medium-term pressure on the Ballarat train line.
The area is one of several expansions in Melbourne’s western growth corridor, with 11 suburbs recently rising between Melton and Caroline Springs.
Former AFL footballer Andrew Welsh and his company Welsh Developments is responsible for the 1300-lot postcode situated about 30 kilometres north west of Melbourne.
Welsh’s venture is yet to be released to the real estate market, however, the debut stage of the development is on the way.
The proposal, featuring multiple sporting ovals and two schools, includes a train station possibly positioned on the Ballarat to Melbourne line.
Mr Welsh said he does not yet know where the station will be located, but understands the the line will need to be twin electrified.
Land is not yet on the market, but early indications suggest the Thornhill Park area is set for an immediate population boom, with 1000 inquiries registered within a week of the Thornhill Park Estate advertisement.
Bacchus Marsh transport consultant Jeff Moran, managing director of SWTY Transport Consulting, says the excessive spread of the western growth corridor has enhanced the need for long term rail infrastructure.
“It makes it even more important that the duplication of the line as far as Melton happens at the earliest possible opportunity,” Mr Moran said.
“I have seen some patronage numbers from V/Line since Regional Rail Link started we have dropped passengers (because) the capacity and reliability isn't there.
“Over time, Ballarat is going to be a more and more important regional centre, especially for health and education services.”
Daily commuter Jonathan Nolan echoed Mr Moran’s sentiments.
“Ballarat commuters need to receive commitment to a dedicated express service, and an assurance that we will not be the 20th stop on an overcrowded service stopping everywhere west of Melbourne,” Mr Nolan said.
Meanwhile, construction on the Rowsley passing loop will be underway by October and is expected to be completed by April, 2016.
Despite the potential for thousands more commuting on Ballarat trains, Committee for Ballarat chief executive John Kilgour said the unveiling of Thornhill Park can be a positive.
“Some would argue that will put pressure on existing services, but from our point of view it will help substantiate a business case for a dedicated line,” Mr Kilgour said.
“If you stage it correctly, successive governments would be able to contribute to different stages.”