No timeline yet on Armstrong Creek rail

May 11, 2022 BY

The yellow dashed line in this AECOM report shows the approximate path of the proposed Armstrong Creek (or Torquay) Transit Corridor. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE federal Liberals say there is a “strong aspiration” to have a railway line extend through to at least Armstrong Creek but have not put a timeframe on when it might be built.

The subject of a dedicated public transport service – whether it is trains or buses – linking Torquay to the existing railway line has been talked about for years.

Leading lobby group G21 lists the need for at least $130 million for a public transport connection between Geelong and Torquay as part of its Transport Pillar.

From Marshall railway station, the Armstrong Creek Transit Corridor would curve south-west through Armstrong Creek, run parallel to the Surf Coast Highway and then end in Torquay North.

Speaking earlier this month alongside Liberal candidate for Victoria Stephanie Asher, Victorian Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson said the Morrison Government had not proposed building the public transport connection (in whatever form) in their next term should they be re-elected, but had provided $10 million to the state Labor Government to do business planning to how the rail line could be extended.

“That work was meant to be handed over mid-year, and it hasn’t been, so that’s disappointing. But I think there is broadly, from what Steph is hearing and I’m hearing, there is a strong aspiration that the rail continue through to at least Armstrong Creek, which obviously needs to be serviced by a station, but we need to have that business case work done.”

A spokesperson for Corangamite Labor federal member Libby Coker declined to comment.

The recently-released final Surf Coast Statement of Planning Policy (SPP) from the Surf Coast Distinctive Area and Landscape program mentions the Armstrong Creek Transit Corridor, and suggests the Torquay end could “enable a new transport interchange within Torquay–Jan Juc that could be a community activity node through integrated transport and land use planning, linking to other activity centres within Torquay–Jan Juc”.

A report prepared by AECOM for the state government in 2021 proposes four options for the “Torquay Rail Link”: premium bus, bus rapid transit, light rail and heavy rail.