The state government has announced $15.8 million of the 2016-17 budget will be devoted to upgrades at Bendigo and Eaglehawk train stations.
The cash injection is part of a $1.3 billion boost to funding for regional train services, which the Labor government is calling “the biggest transformation of public transport in Victoria’s history”.
Transport minister and member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the the multi-million dollar investment would prepare her city’s train station for an increased service load when the Bendigo Metro Rail project rolls out mid-year.
The Bendigo line will also share in 170 new off-peak services to and from towns around regional Victoria, providing more day-round travel options for commuters outside of Melbourne.
A business case for another increase to services on the Bendigo line and improvements to the line’s reliability will also be developed.
Bendigo Mayor Rod Fyffe welcomed the the funding announcement, saying upgrades at the train stations were identified as necessary actions in the council’s transport and land use plan.
He was also confident the budget allowance would help make the station more accessible to people with disabilities.
“Council has been advocating for these improvements for many years and we look forward to the much-needed works beginning in 2016/2017,” he said.
V/Line was another big winner from today’s budget, scoring $198 million to rebuild its capacity to deliver train services to regional passengers.
Twenty-seven new carriages will be added to alleviate crowding on its networks.
Ms Allan said investing in infrastructure like trains was critical to jobs creation.
“The Andrews Labor Government is backing in Bendigo as it continues to grow as a vibrant regional city with funding the projects needed today and into the future.”