Country Victoria’s second-busiest train line is getting 125 new services a week – but users of Ballan station are wondering why their station was left out of the official announcement – and if it could mean a cut in services.

Buninyong State Labor MP Michaela Settle said the station would “definitely get more” services – but did not say how many or at what time of the day.

“We’ve got coaches replacing trains throughout January, but once the line reopens on January 31 we will see 125 extra services on the Ballarat line with more services for Ballan,” she said.

“We will have a train every 20 minutes during the peak and every 40 minutes throughout the day.”

“The half-a-billion-dollar project to upgrade the Ballarat line will be complete with both sides of Ballan Station open and more services to and from the station.”

Deer Park, Rockbank, Cobblebank/Toolern (200 extra services a week), Melton (140), Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat and Ararat were all mentioned in Minister Jacinta Allen’s announcement.

It comes after a 2017 Committee for Ballarat campaign, pushing for a 59-minute train journey to Melbourne – creating fears that stations east of the regional centre would see cuts to services as a result.

Revamped timetables across the state will be released on January 8.

The State Government said under the new timetable, all trains from Ballarat would stop at Bacchus Marsh, providing more peak express services to Southern Cross.

The move will give Bacchus Marsh 10 extra services a week between Southern Cross.

Buses will replace trains for the final works on the Ballarat Line Upgrade from Monday 28 December to Saturday 30 January.

The final train on the Bungaree loop – which was built in 1879 as a Ballarat spur line – is expected to pass through during the week of Christmas.

All up, 450 extra Vline and Metro passenger services will be provided each week on Victorian rail lines.

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Gabrielle Hodson
Author: Gabrielle Hodson

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