THE State Government will build a train passing loop east of Colac, paving the way for extra train services to Colac.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the loop would be between the Birregurra turnoff on the Princes Highway, and Birregurra.
“For the passing loop that’ll be installed between Warrnambool and Geelong, it’ll set us up to run further services once that’s built,” Mr Mulder said.
“Adjoining land owners have been consulted and are happy with the site,” he said.
Mr Mulder said V-Line would be able to put more services on the line once the passing loop was complete.
“Well I would like to think there would be work carried out later this year because there has been some funding allocated for that project,” he said.
Public Transport Users Association Geelong convenor Paul Westcott said he was pleased with the location.
“There’d been other locations mentioned that were not as suitable at that,” Mr Westcott said.
“That is a good decision and it’s a good location, it’s not at a station, which is good for passenger trains,” he said.
“It’s much better to have them between stations.”
Wettenhalls regional general manager Peter Milnes said he was “encouraged” by the announcement.
“I am encouraged to see that the State Government is showing commitment to regional rail,” Mr Milnes said.
“There is still a lot of work to be done before a sustainable regional rail freight network is achieved,” he said.
Colac Otway Shire mayor Stephen Hart said having a site for the loop was a “very positive outcome”.
“Council is very supportive of having a passing loop to increase rail services,” Cr Hart said.
“We look forward to it being constructed,” he said.
The previous Labor government removed a rail passing loop at Colac railway station in 2008.
The only other passing loop between Geelong and Warrnambool is at Camperdown.