I'm with Kuldalai again on this. Railpagers may recall an extensive post I wrote regarding rail projects in Victoria generally and in particular RRL. In summary that was how rail projects in Victoria after they have been conceived and developed by the planners (read client) are when they are subsequently funded virtually taken out of the clients hands and then the Project deliverer then starts their work trying to "optimise" (read cut cost) and after amending the scope refuses point blank to entertain any change to that scope.
If you track the history of the Rowsley loop project it was originally to be a loop at Ballan with a second platform. This was going to be hugely expensive compared to the budget announced and it was questionable at the time whether a stand alone loop at Ballan would deliver any true increase in capacity and/or improved reliability unless it was part of a much wider series of works that I will come to shortly.
Rowsley on the other hand was (and is) the right decision in that timetables starting with RRL in 2005/2006 and subsequently, would operate far more smoothly and reliably if trains could cross on the down side of Bacchus Marsh. Hence why Rowsley was selected, but as we know there has been something like a three going onto four year time lapse.
In the meantime AND THIS IS MY BEEF, we have a superb piece of work that has gone on for around a year or close to it to undertake a vastly expanded scheme to improve capacity and reliability for the Ballarat Line. I foreshadowed this some months before the budget and it includes duplication to Melton, second platform at Bacchus Marsh and the new loops and reduplication etc further west.
Accordingly as soon as the planning work came on stream why wasn't the configuration of the Rowsley Loop revisited especially in view of the second platform at Bacchus Marsh and the track effectively duplicated from the second platform location round the corner past Rowsley and further towards the bank and now wait for it oh shock oh horror, installation of a 120km/hr turnout on tangent track approaching the Ingliston Bank (pardon the spelling) so that there is no degration in speed for either up or down trains. This would have provided a true passing lane section of double track rather than a loop and slow speed turnouts at Bacchus Marsh and both ends of Rowsley.
Look I know high speed turnouts in the Australian environment are harder to implement than putting man on mars but there just happen to be thousnds and thouusands globally that we just might be able to import 1 into the country and heaven for bid accredit and type test them on the basis of being in high speed intensive service globally. This type of infrastructure is not revolutionary or leading edge. It will have a service life of decades and be used dozens of times per day.
Kuldalai has summed it up perfectly. I need not say anymore except to say this will compromise the rest of the $450 million to be spent on the corridor FOREVER!!!