RRL Improving Services
The Regional Rail Link (RRL) will separate regional trains from metropolitan trains, meaning that for the first time Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat will get dedicated tracks from Sunshine to Southern Cross Station – where they will arrive at new platforms 15 and 16, which are already under construction.
Because track capacity is currently limited, regional trains that stop at some stations in Melbourne share space on the network with suburban trains that typically stop at all stations.
This congestion limits the capacity of the railway network, reduces train speeds and impacts on the reliability of train operations.
More capacity in the Met helps everyone who uses it in Melbourne's north, east, south-east, and west. By eliminating bottlenecks in Melbourne's west, the RRL will add greater capacity to the Met overall.
Separating Met and V/Line services, as the RRL does, will make timetabling easier for the Met. This is because Metro will not have to schedule its services around V/Line trains which it “is powerless to control”, as the Chief Executive of Metro, Andrew Lezala, told a Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2010.1
The RRL will enable up to 12 extra train paths each hour on existing railway lines, distributed across Geelong, Werribee, Sydenham/Sunbury and Ballarat/Bacchus Marsh.
For example, an extra 3 Werribee line services added in peak hours, will boost current operations by more than 50 per cent.