COVID-19 restrictions have delayed the return of a fifth train service to the Warrnambool to Melbourne line, according to the state government.
Regional Rail Revival Director Mark Havryluk said signalling upgrades between Warncoort and Warrnambool were targeted for completion later this year.
He said construction of the new 2.2km Boorcan crossing loop was complete and would be operational following the completion of signalling upgrades.
Current corridor works include trenching and installing cable, to provide the communications and power supply for new signalling equipment along the line.
Upcoming works at Warrnambool Station will include installation of a communications tower and ongoing signalling works.
COVID-19 restrictions have resulted in delays in complex signalling design, limiting the availability of specialist resources and equipment, Mr Havryluk said.
"The Warrnambool Line is an important part of the regional rail network - that's why we're getting on with upgrades to enable new services for passengers and deliver newer, better trains for regional Victorians," he said.
"Stage one of the Warrnambool Line Upgrade is progressing with signalling works between Waurn Ponds and Warncoort already complete, while stage two is also under way to bring VLocity trains to Warrnambool for the first time."
"We're doing everything we can to deliver these upgrades as soon as possible, benefiting all passengers by making it easier for them to get to where they need to go."
VLocity trains are expected to be used on the line for the first time in late 2023.
Mr Havryluk's comments come after Member for Western Victoria Stuart Grimley said he was shocked it had been five years since the state government promised south-west residents faster trains and a fifth daily service to Melbourne.
"Locals in Warrnambool are desperate for these upgrades, particularly those with disabilities who struggle to get aboard the old rolling stock currently in use," Mr Grimley said.
"We must see more equality between regional Victoria and metropolitan Victoria. If there was a disability access issue for trains in Melbourne, I'm certain it wouldn't take five years to fix. I look forward to the minister's response."
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