Ballarat Rail Line Action Committee
Melton City Council has joined forces with fellow Councils and Shires (Brimbank, Moorabool, Ballarat, Pyrenees and Ararat) in a campaign for high quality rail infrastructure on the Ballarat Rail Line.
The group known as the Ballarat Rail Action Committee (BRAC) are working as a collective to ensure that the Ballarat railway which serves many communities in a wider catchment beyond Ararat, keeps up with the population rate across the corridor.
The Railway is a critical lifeline serving all these communities. Between Melbourne and Ballarat, it is now an intensely used commuter line, having seen a 300% increase in usage over the past decade as journey times have been reduced by successive investments in the Regional Fast Rail, VLocity railcars and Regional Rail Link projects.
The Committee's focus is to identify projects along the length of the corridor that provide mutual benefits to all Councils. In 2016, the Committee successfully campaigned for the duplication of the line from Deer Park to Melton. The State Government announced $518 million would be put towards improvements and duplication. However, despite these investment much of the line follows an alignment set out 140 years ago, with sharp curves and steep grades that reduce train speeds, much of the line is still single track resulting in delays while trains wait to pass each other. Other infrastructure such as stations, signalling, train stabling, car parking, security and bus and coach connections all require improvements too.
BRAC is working with rail experts to formulate a list of priorities to take to Government for action. BRAC members have successfully achieved duplication of the line, additional services to the line, more passing loops and stabling. BRAC member councils have successfully advocated to state and federal governments for the Western Freeway investment and as a result our collective advocacy is seen as a powerful tool to obtaining investment in long-term rail infrastructure for the Ballarat rail line.
The next 20 years will see transformative development of rail services and infrastructure in the corridor from Sunshine via Ballarat to Ararat. BRAC is ready to ensure development meets commuter needs not just in the short-term but into the future.
For more information on the Ballarat Rail Line Action Committee contact the Engagement and Advocacy Department on 9747 7200.