V/LINE passengers on the Bendigo line can expect an extra 10 minutes’ travel time when a new train timetable is introduced next month.
Services between Bendigo and Southern Cross will be affected by delays when the Sunbury line is electrified from November 18.
Passengers on the Ballarat, Bendigo and Seymour lines will gain extra trains and more seats – but journeys are likely to take longer.
A V/Line spokesman said that as a result of the changes in stopping patterns, it was expected that more seats would be available to meet additional demand for passengers north of Sunbury.
“Examples of this include the 4.15pm Bendigo to Sunbury with about 445 seats, which is expecting to have an additional 150 freed,” the spokesman said.
“This train regularly has people standing on it, at least to Sunbury.”
The V/Line spokesman confirmed that the fastest train travelling from Bendigo to Melbourne would slow from 1 hour 31 minutes to 1 hour 42 minutes.
The new V/Line and Metro timetables will be introduced on November 18. Local buses that stop at Bendigo railway station will also get new timetables.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the new timetable would reduce overcrowding on Kyneton, Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill line trains, particularly during peak periods.
The official opening of the Watergardens to Sunbury electrification on November 18 marks another stage of the Regional Rail Link.
Mr Mulder said the Ballarat and Bendigo lines would also benefit from the $4 billion link, which is due to be finished in 2016.