Melbourne–Geelong rail capacity enhancement

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Melbourne-Geelong rail capacity
Priority Initiative
Melbourne–Geelong, Vic
Fast-growing cities
National Connectivity
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Longer term (10-15 years)
Proposed By
Victorian Government
Date added to the IPL
26 March 2018


Geelong is Victoria’s second-largest city, with a population projected to increase from 286,000 in 2016 to 445,000 by 2046. The existing passenger rail line between Melbourne and Geelong is expected to become capacity constrained in peak periods as more people travel between the two economic centres.

Limited capacity, and low train speeds resulting from the inability to run express services between the two centres, will limit Geelong’s potential to grow as an economic hub to complement Melbourne. Increased rail capacity between the two cities, and faster travel times, would not only address emerging demand, but would also provide a nationally significant opportunity to facilitate growth in a key regional city.

Proposed initiative

There are a number of opportunities to address this emerging capacity gap. The current rail service is provided by diesel trains and has limited capacity. Electrification of the line would allow operation of higher-capacity trains with increased reliability and inter-operability with the Melbourne metropolitan rail system. Duplicating the existing single-track pair would also allow for express services to operate through the suburban Melbourne sections of the line, providing faster journey times between Geelong and Melbourne.

Future growth in the region will need to be monitored to determine the optimal timing for and scope of infrastructure upgrades for the corridor.

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).