From the Minister for Public Transport


Monday, 08 September 2008
Platforms at two Geelong stations will be lengthened to allow V/Line to run the biggest short-distance passenger trains in the state from the end of this year.
The bigger trains are in response to a massive 23 per cent growth in passenger numbers in the past year alone on the Geelong line – Victoria’s busiest regional passenger line.

Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky said peak Geelong trains already operated at the maximum six-carriage length, and seven-carriage trains would operate on semi-express peak services when platforms could accommodate the longer trains.

Marshall was the first station to undergo platform extension works throughout September and would be followed by South Geelong.

“The Brumby Government is taking action to build on our record investment in regional rail services and that is why we have committed $236 million to purchase 50 new carriages to allow for longer trains on our most popular routes,” Ms Kosky said.

“V/Line is now receiving one new carriage every month and will do so until 2012. By that time, more than 3800 extra seats will be added to the network.

“I know Geelong passengers have suffered some overcrowding and I’m pleased to announce that some peak hour Geelong line trains will be increased from six to seven carriages from the end of this year.

“It is important that we complete these infrastructure upgrades before we introduce longer trains to ensure passenger safety and accessibility.”

The Geelong line is V/Line’s most popular route and has more peak hour services and carriages
than any other line but booming patronage means more carriages are needed.

“With V/Line patronage at a 60-year high, the platforms works and extra carriages will make a real difference for Geelong line passengers,” Ms Kosky said.

Improvements are and will be made at several Geelong area stations and this week the $700,000 upgrade to Lara station was completed.

The station now has a renovated toilet facilities and kiosk and passengers will benefit from a larger, air-conditioned waiting room and the facelift complements the new Lara Parkway facility, which was completed late last year and provides a total of  352 parking spaces.

Ms Kosky said that public transport is crucial to the liveability of Geelong.