Geelong and Wyndham unite for rail solutions

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.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.