ACCIONA Geotech subsidiary Coleman Rail and its alliance partners have secured a $551.7 million contract to upgrade Victoria’s Ballarat rail line. 

Coleman Rail was named as Preferred Proponent with partners Lendlease and SMEC Australia in July this year, and since then has been working in collaboration with the  Melbourne Metro Rail Authority (MMRA), V/Line, and relevant stakeholders to begin developing the design and detailed construction planning.

Bede Noonan, ACCIONA Geotech’s Managing Director, said: “This upgrade will enable more trains to operate with greater reliability in Melbourne’s west and right along the Ballarat line. We are looking forward to working closely with MMRA and V/Line to deliver this important project to enhance the Ballarat line train user experience. Coleman Rail has developed workforce programs specifically to support the delivery phase of the project, creating new skilled jobs.  We look forward to partnering with local suppliers and contractors to provide opportunities for them to become involved in the delivery of this project.”

Under the project for the Victorian and Australian governments, the Ballarat line will be duplicated between Deer Park West and Melton. This will create more space for trains to pass each other while also paving the way for the future electrification of the line to Melton, which will create a new metropolitan train line into the city.

The project also includes upgrading Rockbank station with rebuilt platforms, new pedestrian links between platforms, and new car parking. There will also be additional platforms at Bacchus Marsh, Ballan and Wendouree stations, with new pedestrian links between platforms, plus a new station at Toolern, between Rockbank and Melton.

Additionally, there will be new stabling facilities at Maddingley, the removal of stabling facilities at Bacchus Marsh station, three kilometres of track duplication between Bacchus Marsh station and Rowsley Station Road, and a 4.5 kilometre passing loop at Ballan. Finally, a new four-kilometre passing loop at Millbrook will make it possible to close the existing Bungaree loop and remove five level crossings. Major construction will commence in early 2018 and is scheduled for completion by late 2019.

Coleman Rail is a construction contractor specialising in metro, freight, heavy haul and light rail infrastructure. The company has specialist design and construction expertise covering almost all of the individual components that collectively make up a network’s fixed rail infrastructure.