About $100 million will be spent to revive the plagued Warrnambool train line, the Victorian government announced on Sunday.
The upgrade will pave the way for VLocity trains to run on the Warrnambool line, bringing with it shorter trips and extra services.
The planned works include a crossing loop from Boorcan to Weerite and signalling upgrades between Warrnambool and Waurn Ponds.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan announced that the Victorian Budget 2017/18 would include a $1.45 billion Regional Rail Revival package covering every regional rail line, creating 1000 jobs. To fund the project, Ms Allan said the Victorian government would use the $1.45 billion it was entitled to under the national agreement from the long-term lease of the port of Melbourne. “To be clear, this is Victorian money, it's not federal money,” Ms Allan said. “What we need now is for the federal government to tick off on our list.”
Opposition leader Matthew Guy said Mr Andrews had ignored country Victoria for two years and was now making huge promises and sending the bill entirely to PM Malcolm Turnbull.
Warrnambool mayor and Great South Coast group chair Kylie Gaston welcomed the upgrade. “Being able to catch a VLocity train for the journey is attractive given the ageing rolling stock currently servicing the south-west line,” she said. South West Coast MP Roma Britnell said it was a win for the electorate which had made it clear it was sick of the constant delays and problems.