Geelong and Wyndham unite for rail solutions

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

The Greater Geelong and Wyndham City councils have united to call on the state and federal governments to provide short- and long-terms solutions to improve rail services west of Melbourne.

A motion passed by the Greater Geelong council – which also has the support of the Wyndham City council – will see the two councils request a series of urgent commitments from the other tiers of government, including:

  • two new electrified metropolitan rail lines through the western suburbs to Melton and Wyndham Vale, separating them from the Geelong and Ballarat lines
  • increased track capacity between Sunshine and the CBD to cater for faster and more frequent metro and regional trains
  • major investment in the Geelong and Ballarat lines including the exploration of electrification of these lines and new fast electric regional trains
  • connection of the Wyndham Vale and Werribee lines to provide increased transport choice, network resilience and capacity and
  • a clear timeline and funding for these works.

The council will also request that already committed federal funding for the duplication of rail lines within Geelong be brought forward, and that the state government fund station upgrades in both Geelong and Wyndham.

The two councils are calling on the state and federal governments to take a coordinated approach for delivery of the Airport Rail Link, the Western Rail Plan and the Suburban Rail Loop, to achieve the best possible outcomes for all three projects.

Councillor Stephanie Asher - Mayor

We’re joining our neighbours in Wyndham to request the state and federal governments reconsider their approach and give our regions the rail service improvements we urgently need.

Fast and frequent rail services to Wyndham and Geelong have the potential to significantly impact the long-term liveability of our regions, opening up employment and education opportunities, and allowing our residents to spend less time on the train and more time with their loved ones.

The proposal for the Melbourne Airport Rail Link reported to be under consideration would put extra trains onto already over-crowded tracks between the CBD and Sunshine. This would devastate the prospects of achieving desperately needed faster and more frequent services to Melbourne’s west and regional Victoria. Our trains are already slow and overcrowded, and will only get worse without action.

We look forward to a positive response at the state and federal levels.

Councillor Josh Gilligan - Wyndham City Mayor

We are in urgent need of an increase to existing services. Squashing more trains onto an already busy line will only prevent this from happening.

Patronage on the Geelong line has risen by a whopping 131 per cent over the past five years. This is more than any other regional line over the past five years. It’s astonishing instead of having more services added, we’re clogging up the tracks.

As our population continues to soar, we need other tiers of government to back us and deliver the infrastructure we need. We know that our trains are already full, especially at rush hour, forcing our residents to cram into carriages or wait for the next train.

What the governments should be focussed on is the delivery of rail networks that will better connect both Geelong and Wyndham to the CBD and regional cities. We know that this leads to greater shared opportunities in terms of education, employment and boosting local economies.

There is no doubt that a link to the Tullamarine airport is needed. The people of Victoria deserve this. But this should not compromise our urgent need for additional rail services.

Page last updated: Thursday, 27 February 2020