Geelong - Ballarat was dual track.Double line, actually, until it was 'upgraded' to single track in favour of the goat track via the Marsh.
Part of the well engineered Bendigo double line was, of course, similarly upgraded to single line years later.
What's the next improvement? Convert the rest of Victoria to 2'6" gauge?
With respect to Geelong - Ballarat, that line was singled around 1965 and as 1965 was not a time when VR was looking confidently to the 21st Century and what pax services we enjoy today. Singling was a was a prudent move to save on maintenance.
50+ years ago, when the car was king and every regional city wanted a freeway, who would have thought that railways would have the renaissance they now enjoy.
Regards the singling of the Bendigo line, although in retrospect it was a short sighted decision...but remember this decision was taken when V'Locity's were two car trains and there was no thought at that time of 'centre' cars, let alone 6 car or even 9 car V'Locity's making up services due to the exponential increase in pax numbers.
Personally I'm happier at age 63 travelling on PT than I ever was when I used to travel on the Friday 17:40 down Bendigo at age 16 with a B Class and up to 10 cars for the sometimes nearly 3 hour journey to Castlemaine.
I agree with the above, the service is MUCH better now than it was even 40 years ago. There's almost no comparison wtth the Seymour timetable now and back then, now we have trains every hour from 0500 to after midnight. !975 4 trains each way and thats that.
I well remember the 1645 Friday Albury train leaving from Platform 1 10 or 11 cars absolutely packed to the rafters, pulled by a poor old B class. the ONLY way one could get a seat was to be standing on the platform where a door stopped . There were still people standing when the train got to Benalla. My station actuallly was Baddaginnie but one often could not get off there as only the rear cars were in the platform and the corridors were still to packed with people.
Timings then and now friday Albury train 3 hours 15 minutes to Benalla, now 2 hours 23 minutes AND its now has to go via Albion. While the reliabilty is not what it was they WILL eventually figure that out.
1954 timings, Albury train steam hauled 3 hours 13 minutes to Benalla.
Note: The trains now to Benalla stop at 3 less stations than back in 1975/1954 (Locksley Longwood and Baddaginnie were open then)
Also in 1954 the local Albury service, ie stopping ALL stations (Monea, Creighton, Ballmattum) took 3h 25m to reach Benalla.