Western standard gauge line

Western Standard Gauge Line

Western standard gauge line

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Description:
The Western standard gauge is a railway line in western Victoria, Australia. Opened in 1995, it forms part of the Melbourne-Adelaide railway and serves as the principal interstate rail link between Victorian and the western states. The line replaced a number of former broad gauge routes which were gauge converted, and today sees both intrastate and interstate freight traffic, as well as the thrice weekly (in each direction) The Overland passenger service. Major towns on the route include Geelong, Ararat, Horsham and Dimboola.

History

The first intercapital link between Melbourne and South Australia was completed in 1887 when the Victorian Railways line was extended to Serviceton on the state border. Known as the Serviceton line, it passed through Geelong, Ballarat, Ararat, Stawell, Horsham and Dimboola, on the way west. It was not until 1889 that a direct Melbourne - Ballarat link was opened.

In the 1970s most interstate lines in Australia began to be converted to standard gauge. By the 1990s Adelaide to Melbourne was the only interstate link not converted, and so various proposals were made for gauge conversion. Two main options were put forward:

  • via Ballarat: A new track or dual gauge to Ballarat, then conversion of the line west.
  • via Geelong: A new track to Geelong, dual gauge to Gheringhap, then conversion of the line via Cressy, and then conversion of the line from Ararat.


Various reasons for given for and against...
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