Media Releases | 3rd Dec, 2001

Councils on the right track with rail

Thursday, 4 December 2001

Environment Victoria congratulates Wyndham Council for instigating an urgently needed meeting with Geelong Council to discuss the future impact of the Fast Rail Project.

Fast Rail has the potential to change rail travel in the entire Werribee-Geelong corridor.

Environment Victoria, the state’s peak non-government environment organisation is conducting a campaign to ensure Fast Rail benefits as many people in Victoria as possible.

“We would like to see as many travellers as possible gaining access to the new services. This includes outer Melbourne travellers,” said Environment Victoria spokesperson Wendy Everingham.

The Geelong Line currently has two proposals for Fast Rail. A diesel Sprinter service capable of speeds up to 160kmh or an electrified rail network capable of speeds of 130kmh. Both proposals would offer Geelong residents a 45-minute trip to Melbourne, however, at this stage trains are only planned to stop at Nth Geelong and Nth Melbourne.

Environment Victoria believes both proposals could offer stops at more main stations and achieve a 45 minute travel time if more upgrade work is done to improve travel speeds in metropolitan Melbourne.

“Diesel trains sets, however, may not have the capacity to stop at larger stations along the way because they may already be filled with travellers from Geelong. Electric train sets would be much larger and would accelerate faster, therefore offering greater possibilities for stopping along the route to collect more passengers. Electrification would mean that the larger trains from Geelong could stop in Werribee and then travel the express route to Melbourne via Footscray and Nth Melbourne. This would give Werribee residents a badly needed faster rail service to Melbourne as well as boosting the case for a frequent electrified service for Geelong residents in 45-minutes and great access from Werribee to Geelong as well,” said Wendy Everingham.

“It is essential that good planning occur in the initial stages of the Fast Rail Project to obtain the best travel outcomes for more people in all the Fast Rail corridors. Dialogue between the two councils is a positive step forward, ” concluded Wendy Everingham.