by Benjamin Millar
Trains will run every 10 minutes for Geelong commuters during peak periods, under a timetable in effect from June 21 using the new Regional Rail Link through Melbourne’s west.
Released on Sunday, the timetable adds extra services between Geelong and Melbourne, taking to 51 the number of trains on the route on weekdays.
Geelong trains will no longer travel via Werribee, instead servicing new stations at Wyndham Vale and Tarneit.
Launching the timetable at Southern Cross Station on Sunday, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the Regional Rail Link project had been the most significant investment in new railway lines in Victoria in about 80 years.
Successive state governments have done little to expand Melbourne’s metropolitan rail system.
But the Regional Rail Link, approved under the Brumby government and built under both Labor and Liberal state governments, was started after getting three-quarters of its initial funding from Canberra.
It will attempt to make services more reliable by removing V/Line trains interacting with Metro services.
But the Opposition’s public transport spokesman David Hodgett said that, while the opening was good news for rail users, “motorists still face years of gridlock because of Daniel Andrews’ reckless decision to scrap the East West Link”.