Passengers will soon benefit from more frequent and reliable train services with the completion of major works on the Waurn Ponds station upgrade.
Commissioning and critical safety testing will now to take place over the next few weeks to enable additional services to run on the Warrnambool Rail Line.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister Barnaby Joyce said the project was a joint federal and state government priority, as part of a $511 million commitment across the Warrnambool Rail Line.
“This vital transport infrastructure is helping to connect communities and improve safety, while also creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery,” he said.
State Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan said a new forecourt and drop off zone would also open to the public after safety inspections take place.
“We’re getting on with these works to make Waurn Ponds station safer, more user-friendly and easier to get to,” Ms Allan said.
“The upgrade is part of our massive investment in better train services to Geelong and Victoria’s south west.”
The upgrade also includes the construction of a second platform on the south side of the station – with an accessible pedestrian overpass connecting it to the existing platform.
Final fit outs on the second platform will be completed in early 2022, including line marking and seating installation.
Geelong-based Victorian senator Sarah Henderson said the Waurn Ponds station upgrade, the first part of the Waurn Ponds to South Geelong duplication project, would deliver more frequent and reliable train services to Waurn Ponds and the Armstrong Creek growth corridor.
“The Waurn Ponds station upgrade includes a transformed main entrance to give better access to the station, more than 200 new car parking spaces, better security and improved passenger information for commuters and visitors alike,” she said.
“With a large majority of the funding being delivered by the Australian government, I am very proud of the many ways in which we are investing in local infrastructure projects including this vital rail upgrade.”
South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman said passengers on the Warrnambool Rail Line would reap the rewards of the upgrade.
“This line is a vital part of our rail network – and these works at Waurn Ponds Station will give passengers the frequent and more reliable train services they deserve,” Mr Cheeseman said.
“It’s great to see major works completed, and passengers can look forward to more benefits when commissioning gets under way next year.”
Commissioning will include relocating a live signalling box from the rail corridor to allow the final 50-metre section of rail to be installed, and completing track duplication at the station.
More than 2000 sleepers and 2.9 kilometres of new rail has already been laid.
Major earthworks have also continued at the site for the new train stabling and maintenance facility near Waurn Ponds, which will allow track installation works to take place this year.
Crews have since installed drainage and commenced work on the new track to link the main line to the stabling facility – which will support the extension of services on the line to Waurn Ponds.