Waurn Ponds Duplication project
Preferred bidder announced
Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.
The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.
The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.
The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).
Preferred bidder announced
A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.
Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.
ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:
Construction projects: > AUD$300m
Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m
All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million
Stage 2 of the Waurn Ponds Duplication project will see the duplication of the Geelong rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds stations, increasing the capacity of the line to accommodate population growth.
In FY2016-17 the Victorian and Federal governments allocated funding towards the $4 million South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Planning Project, which developed the business case for the project by examining signalling and asset upgrade options along the rail corridor, including the South Geelong tunnel. In May 2018 the business case was submitted to Infrastructure Australia (IA) for consideration.
The project is expected to comprise:
- duplication of 13 kilometres of track between Waurn Ponds and South Geelong;
- removal of level crossings at Fyans Street and Surf Coast Highway; and
- upgrades to South Geelong and Marshall train stations
A business case for Stage 3 - to improve the 400-metre-long South Geelong tunnel bottleneck - will also be developed through the project.
In the lead up to the 2018 Victorian State Election the Victorian Government announced that it would provide $147 million towards the project if re-elected, while seeking the remaining $589 million from the Federal Government's National Rail Program.
The 2019-20 Federal Budget committed $700 million to stages 2 and 3 of the project which will see funding contributions each year between FY2024-25 and FY2027-28.
Due to the timing of the Federal Government's funding commitment, the 2019-20 Victorian Budget only allocated $2 million over forward estimates towards design and pre-procurement activities for Stage 2.
Stage 1 of the project is the $160 million Geelong Line Upgrade that is part of the Regional Rail Revival program of works being managed by Rail Projects Victoria. The Upgrade will see:
- a second platform and pedestrian link at Waurn Ponds station’
- a passing loop at Waurn Ponds; and
- corridor planning for a connection to Armstrong Creek from Marshall station.
Site investigations for the Upgrade are underway. Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for Stage 1 were called for in October 2018. On 29 January 2020 Downer were awarded the contract for Stage 1. Works are expected to commence in 2020 and be completed by 2021.
In August 2018 IA released their project evaluation of Waurn Ponds Duplication project Stage 2, finding the project had a Benefit Cost Ratio of 0.6 and therefore did not add the project to its Infrastructure Priority List.
IA also noted from the business case that:
- the Victorian Government's preferred procurement method is through an Alliance contract,
- the business case recommends Stage 1 and Stage 2 works be packaged together and delivered as part of the Regional Rail Revival program, and
- the Victorian Government would explore funding the project through alternative funding sources such as a Growth Areas Infrastructure Charge, in addition to grant funding
More broadly, IA lists Melbourne – Geelong rail capacity enhancement as a Long Term (10-15 year) Priority Initiative on its Infrastructure Priority List. Infrastructure Victoria notes in it's 30 year strategy that the duplication of the Geelong Line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds is an example of its recommended Regional rail upgrades.
Last reviewed: 11/02/2020