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$518m commitment to Rockbank-CBD rail

Accolade commuters will benefit enormously from a $518 million upgrade to the Ballarat train line in the state government’s 2016-17 budget.

The investment is expected to allow for a more reliable and less congested service.

The service will also be upgraded to include a new and expanded railway station to cope with the thousands of new commuters moving into the area in the next 10 years.

The duplication of a 17-kilometre section of single track between Deer Park West and Melton is the first step towards future electrification of the line to Melton.

The Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan confirmed 2019 as an expected finish date for construction - this will coincide with the first new residents moving into the estate.

"We will want to move as quickly as we can in 2017 to award the tender but certainly it is a big package of works with not just duplication, passing loops, extra capacity an train stations and we want to move as quickly as we can."

This package also includes two extra services in the morning and afternoon peak for the Ballarat line and a train every 40 minutes in the off-peak on the line.

More than $280 million will be invested in 27 new V/Locity carriages to allow space for 2000 extra passengers across the regional V/Line network.

Image credit source: Ballarat Courier