Ballarat V/Line rail service
|Type||V/Line passenger service|
|Rolling stock||V/Line Sprinter
H type carriage
|Number of tracks||Double track to Caroline Springs
single track with loops beyond
The Ballarat V/Line rail service is a regional passenger rail service operated by V/Line in Victoria, Australia. It serves passengers between state capital Melbourne and the regional city of Ballarat. Beyond Ballarat it changes name to the Ararat railway line and the Maryborough railway line.
V/Line once operated services to Horsham and Dimboola. All services beyond Ballarat were withdrawn on 27 May 1994, and in 1995 the One Nation Program regauged the line beyond Ararat. The broad-gauge line between Ballarat and Ararat was closed to all traffic, with the broad-gauge passenger service from Ballarat to Ararat not reinstated until 2004 under the Linking Victoria program.
In November 2004, Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks announced that the line would be renamed the Eureka Line to mark the 150th anniversary of the Eureka uprising. Due to take effect from late 2005 at the same time as the renaming of Spencer Street Station to Southern Cross. The renaming was criticised by groups such as the Public Transport Users Association, and was never carried out.
By 2009, a total of 48,000 passengers or an average of 1,000 week were using the line between Ballarat and Ararat.
V/Line operates hourly passenger services along the line. Most terminate at Wendouree with two extending to Ararat station and two to Maryborough. During peak hours some services originate and terminate at Bacchus Marsh.
To alleviate capacity constraints on the single track section, one Ballarat to Melbourne service in the evening peak is provided by a road coach.
V/Line operates thrice-daily passenger trains on the Ararat line to and from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, as well as three road coach services connecting with buses at Ballarat. Roughly half the number of services run towards Maryborough.
Beyond Ballarat the line is classified by V/Line as an Intercity service, so seat reservations are no longer required. Many services run as limited expresses between Ballarat and Melbourne.
On 16 July 2014, V/Line trains between Melbourne and Ararat ceased stopping at North Melbourne Station as part of the Regional Rail Link project.
The majority of the line is single track, with the exception of:
- double track between Melbourne, Sunshine and Caroline Springs. The North line is restricted to 130 km/h operation and the South line to 160 km/h, a remnant of Regional Fast Rail's bidirectional, different-speed signalling.
- a short crossing loop at Rockbank station
- a short crossing loop at Melton station
- Parwan Loop, between Melton and Bacchus Marsh stations, located before the descent into Bacchus Marsh
- a short crossing loop at Rowsley (completed mid 2016)
- Bank Box Loop, between Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations, located atop the Werribee Gorge
- a long crossing loop near Bungaree, between Ballan and Ballarat. The two tracks take different routes, one being the original line via Bungaree, the other being a new deviation built as part of the Regional Fast Rail project.
Bold stations are termini, where some train services terminate; italic stations are staffed, at least part-time:
Ballarat V/Line rail service with Regional Rail Link
- Annual Report for year ended 30 June 2014 V/Line
- VictorianRailways.net - VR Timeline
- Eureka Rail Line to Open Exciting new era for Regional Rail Premier of Victoria 25 November 2004
- More name changes:Ballarat this time PTUA News Volume 28 Issue 6 December 2004
- Ballarat's new train station to officially open ABC News 12 June 2009
- Maryborough Rail Services Victorian Transport Plan
- Passenger trains return to Maryborough The Courier 25 July 2010
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- Ballarat timetable V/Line 12 October 2014
- "Ararat line timetable" (PDF). www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2012-06-04.
- Rowsley Crossing Loop - Public Transport Victoria
- Train Operating Data: Deer Park to Ararat V/Line 21 October 2014