Last train travels over the Bungaree loop

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The Bungaree passing loop will be decommissioned from late December and will no longer be used by Ballarat Line trains once the project works are complete.

The final passenger services travelled via the Bungaree passing loop on Sunday 27 December.

The line for the Bungaree passing loop was first established in 1879 and used as a branch line from Ballarat to Gordon. In 1889 it formed part of the original alignment of the Melbourne to Ballarat line.

The line featured stations at Bungaree and Wallace, with Wallace closed in 1969 and Bungaree 1981.

In 2005, as part of the Regional Fast Rail project, a new direct rail line was opened from Millbrook to Dunnstown, providing up to nine-minute travel savings for trains on the Ballarat Line. This left the Bungaree passing loop to carry deviated train services, allowing trains to pass each other on the line.

The decommissioning of the Bungaree passing loop allows five level crossings to be removed in Bungaree, Wallace and Millbrook, with track, signage and infrastructure such as boom gates and lights all removed from these crossing sites in January, providing a huge safety boost for road users in these areas.

Temporary road closures will be in place at the level crossing locations.

Trains will start to use the new passing loops at Ballan and Millbrook for the first time from 31 January, providing more options for trains to pass each other and allowing services to recover from unexpected delays more quickly.

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