Besides money one of the problems with the project discovered after the initial go ahead was. 'How do we fit the standard gauge line through Ballarat Station'.
Posted on this site by NSWGR8022 is a video clip of 'A Drivers view from Wendouree to Southern Cross'.
I noticed that there seemed to be plenty of room for extra tracks through Ballarat Station.
Checking Mark Bau's excellent Victorian Railways site he has included a diagram of the Ballarat track layout from pre 1980's rationalisation that shows four roads through the station and three up to and past Ballarat East to where the Buninyong line branched off.
To me with a small amount of effort a standard gauge track would fit easily.
In fact if you follow the clip up the hill to Warrenheip to an Arm Chair RP expert like me I cannot understand the problem of Ballarat if sufficient funds are allocated.
I tried to have a look at the V/line timetable to try and gauge how many movements are scheduled to use Ballarat each day. At present the trains on the timetable are shown as buses due to the current occupation of the line so no luck there.
However I feel over a twenty four hour period the number of Frieght Trains that would be running could be squeezed in without making Mrs Brown late for her appointment because her train was/if at all delayed by two minutes.
You can rerail Marybourgh to Ararat to Pilbura standard but you still have to travel an extra one hundred plus K's to get to Geelong and it does not matter what the line speed is it costs time and fuel to run the extra distance. I thought we were worried about emissions?
Anyway I live in eternal hope that one day more or less the goods lines only will be standard gauge.