MORE than 100 acres of land is sitting idle next to the site where the former Warrenehip Station once stood.
The site, just 10km from the centre of of town has been earmarked by the City of Ballarat and the Rail Futures Institute as the perfect site for a park and ride station.
The station site marks the point where the narrow gauge and standard gauge lines separate on the lines to Melbourne and Geelong afrom Ballarat.
Land where the station once stood is owned by VicTrack, but the City of Ballarat this week confirmed that the land surrounding the track is privately owned and is calling on the state government to purchase it and create a new park and ride option.
"The land surrounding the former Warrenheip Station is privately owned while the buildings and track are owned by VicTrack," the council said.
READ MORE:Council support for Warrenehip Station
The City of Ballarat sees a reopening of the former station as its solution to what looms as major parking problem which the city will face in coming years, particularly as new businesses and government agencies like GovHub come in 2020.
It has prioritiesd the development as one of its key ambitions moving forward and wants $21 million to purchase land and build a new station.
“The Warrenheip concept is exceptionally exciting and makes a big difference to the other big projects which are happening around the centre of Ballarat,” Ballarat Mayor Samantha Mclntosh said in 2017.
Warrenheip was opened as a station on the double tracked Geelong to Ballarat line in 1873.
It became a junction in 1879 when a branch line was built towards Gordon. This branch eventually became the direct route to Melbourne 1889. The station was closed to passengers in 1982, and in 1995, the junction was abolished, with two single independent lines running into Ballarat.
But so far the project has received at best lukewarm support from the state government and the opposition.
Labor says its focus is on delivering the $518 million upgrade of the Ballarat line, rather than build a new station, while the opposition has also not committed to any new stations.
In 2011, when a push was made from Moorabool Council for the reopening of the Gordon station, then Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said a bus link to Ballan was sufficient.
The Committee for Ballarat says their focus remains on upgrades which would improve the efficiency and speed of the line.
“Duplication of the line between Melbourne and Ballarat is the key priority for the Committee For Ballarat,” Chair of the Committee Nick Beale said.
He said he was pleased with how the line was progressing.
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