The 40 minute Off Peak frequency is not the issue as claimed and Government knew of it as it planned the sg line through Ballarat it was well aware of the promised 40 minute Off Peak frequency.
The key issues are improving the infrastructure immediately on either side of Ballarat so sg & bg freight trains can use the 30 minute window through Ballarat taht occurs in each 40 minute Off Peak cycle. Simply done basically dual gauge Maryborough to Ballarat North Junction, and dual gauge Gheringhap to Hummfray Street at Up end of Ballarat Yard.
Resore bg crossover at Warrenheip so Melb trains can also use South Line. Restore second track between Lydiard Street and North Ballarat Junction. South track as bg, North track as sg only. Then Centre Line through Ballarat station becomes standard gauge only. Platforms remain as bg only. Broad gauge through freight trains use platform 1 to/from South Track, standard gauge trains use Centre Road. This can all be done with two powered gauge splitters, 3 mixed gauge diamonds, and the crossover from the broad gauge North Line at Warrenheip to the dual gauge South Line.
The current arrangement at Ballarat is a fool of a layout dicated by some number cruncher or person with limited if any rail operational experience. Currently the North line sees over 60 pass trains on Weekdays , whilst the South line averages 3 !!! With Up and Down Wendouree trains crossing at Ballarat any late running on the Down automatically condemns the Up to late departure from Ballarat. By simply re-instating the crossover at Warrenheip creates a 6 km double track broad gauge section, allowing Ups to depart Ballarat on time via the South Line to Warrenheip in the event of late running on the Down . The claim it cannot be done is a smokescreen for saying I just don't want to have sg freight trains of that nightmare Murray Basin Project running through Ballarat.
Before 1995 we had much greater numbers of freight trains all on broad gauge from the Wimmera, Adelaide and Maryborough all passing through Ballarat with double track from Warrenheip right through to Linton Junction. Agressive track rationalization at Ballarat by VLP to save maintenance costs, plus removal of connections at Warrenheip and closure of two crossing loops at Sulky and Tourello have crippled train through put at Ballarat. Easily fixed as outlined above incorporating the already funded loop restoration at Tourello.
Thanks for the informative post kuldalai, the above and the situation you have given us regarding passenger trains in another thread, through Ballarat is quite a mess isn't it.
I need some track layout plans and some colored lines of what is happening and what needs to happen to visualise this.
Would you have an approximate costing on the job to enable the freight to get through Ballarat or can the passenger side of it be sorted and then allowing the freight side of it to be done when someone has got the knackers to finally do it ?
Seems like a fairly big carrot dangling here for the Opposition Gov't to jump in, that is if there's enough brains there to see what needs doing and deal with this ( successfully ). It would be a win win situation of passengers as well as the floundering freight trains.