There are a number of issues here which impact on Bendigo services: 1. Conflicts with Metro between Southern Cross and Sunbury 2. Single track constraints beyond Kyneton 3. Implementation of the full new RRL timetable in early 2015 .
1. Whilst Northern services are now completely separated from Metro between Southern Cross and Sunshine, they still share the same track pair between Andersons Rd (Sunshine) and Sunbury. Whilst VLP trains can run through Metro trains at Watergardens in both directions this does not happen because of poor timetabling and a gutless DOT who will not direct Metro that is to happen .
For VLP trains not to trip over Metro trains between Sunshine and Sunbury either VLP run throughs have to be timetabled at Watergardens, and / or the Bendigo RRL track pair has to be extended beyond Anderson Rd to a point around Ginifer .
The second extension has to happen in any case when the Metro service is extended to the Airport.
2. The single track beyond Kyneton can support the existing frequency of service, but extra track infrastructure is required to operate an off peak half hourly service to Bendigo . Ideally that would be by extending the existing short Castlemaine loop to a full 7km long loop like those at Taradale and Ravenswood .
3. The current Bendigo & Ballarat RRL timetables are only the old timetable slightly massaged and do not reflect real RRL times that will finally be achieved between Southern Cross and Sunshine. The final RRL TT for Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo reflecting the faster running times and extra services will be introduced mid 2015 when the Geelong RRL leg is ready and when VLP has received (hopefully) some of the 43 extra VL cars on order .