|Service type||Regional rail|
|System||Victorian railway network|
|First service||25 June 1957|
|Ridership||4.61 million (2021–22)|
|Website||V/Line Geelong on Twitter|
|Distance travelled||93.0 km (57.8 mi)|
|Average journey time||1 hours 19 minutes|
|Line(s) used||Serviceton, Deer Park–West Werribee, Port Fairy|
|Track gauge||1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)|
V/Line commuter services from Melbourne to Geelong once terminated at Geelong station. Some were extended to the existing South Geelong station in 1968, to the re-built Marshall station in 2005, and to the new Waurn Ponds station in 2014.
In February 1959, the line from North Geelong to Corio was duplicated. The line from Werribee to Little River was duplicated in October 1970. In June 1981, the line to Lara was duplicated and the platform at Lara converted into an island platform, while the Little River station got a second platform.
There have long been calls to electrify the line, but plans were put on hold by the State Government in 2002, with diesel locomotives and railcars utilised instead. Train services between Melbourne and Geelong received a government-funded upgrade under the Regional Fast Rail project between 2004 and 2005, with new high-speed VLocity railcars manufactured by Bombardier in Dandenong entering service to Geelong in early 2006.
Prior to the opening of the Regional Rail Link, services ran every 20 minutes during weekdays and hourly later at night, with more frequent services during peak. Services operated every 40 minutes on weekends. In December 2013, after the opening of the first section of Regional Rail Link between Southern Cross and South Kensington, Geelong trains could no longer stop at North Melbourne. From 21 June 2015, Geelong trains commenced running via the Deer Park–West Werribee line, no longer using the original line via Werribee and Newport.
Regional Rail Revival
As part of stage 1 of Western Rail Plan's Geelong Fast Rail, a new dedicated express track for Geelong services between Werribee and Laverton is being planned. Construction will begin in 2023. It is planned that Geelong services will resume running via the Werribee line when the project is completed. Some Geelong services will continue to run on the existing Sunshine corridor (Regional Rail Link) to allow connections to the Melbourne Airport rail link. The final service plan of Geelong services will be announced at a later date.
Services on the Geelong line operate to a variety of stopping patterns during the weekday peak, with a frequency of from 6 to 36 minutes, depending on the station. Services may originate or terminate at Wyndham Vale, Geelong, South Geelong, Marshall or Waurn Ponds.
Outside the peak period, services operate to a 20-minute frequency, alternating between two stopping patterns:
- to or from Waurn Ponds, skipping Corio, Little River, Ardeer and stations between Sunshine, Footscray and Southern Cross – stopping all other stations.
- to or from South Geelong, skipping North Shore, Ardeer and stations between Sunshine, Footscray and Southern Cross – stopping all other stations.
During the weekends, services operate to a 40-minute frequency, with the vast majority originating and terminating at Waurn Ponds. These services skip Ardeer, and stations between Sunshine, Footscray and Southern Cross. Some services are filled by Warrnambool line services, which operates to different stopping patterns.
In the late 2000s and early 2010s, trains on the Geelong – Melbourne corridor were chronically late. As of March 2010, trains had officially run late for 44 consecutive months on the line. The poor performance of V/Line was well documented in the local Geelong press. Recurring issues on the line included poor communication, commuters worried about losing their jobs in Melbourne due to delays and overcrowding.
- "Passenger Schedules: South Western Down". Network service plan. V/Line Corporation. 10 December 2017. Archived from the original on 3 February 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
- "Annual Report 2021-22". V/Line - Regional public transport for Victoria. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
- "New V/Line timetable, Waurn Ponds and Epsom stations open", Railway Digest, December 2014, p.21
- Corio Station Archived 20 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine Rail Geelong
- Lara, Corio, North Shore Archived 28 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine Victorian Station Histories
- "New $26 million Grovedale station a boost for public transport in Geelong". Premier of Victoria. 26 April 2013. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Electrification of the Geelong rail line not to proceed at this stage". Minister for Transport. 4 April 2002. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012.
- "V/Line – First VLocity Services to Geelong". 3 February 2006. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2006.
- Stephen Moynihan (5 May 2007). "The Age – 'Network hits 50-year high as commuters crowd on'". The Age. Melbourne. Archived from the original on 21 August 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2007.
- "Changes to Geelong line services from Sunday 22 December 2013" (PDF). Public Transport Victoria. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Regional Rail Link". economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au. Archived from the original on 27 December 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.
- "Faster Services For Geelong On The Way". Premier of Victoria. 21 November 2020. Archived from the original on 13 February 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- "Geelong Fast Rail – About the project – Stage 1: Werribee to Newport". Victoria's Big Build – Rail Projects Victoria. Archived from the original on 13 February 2022. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
- Oates, Alex (17 July 2010). "Notorious old 4.55pm train to be replaced". Geelong Advertiser. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "V/Line misses targets on Geelong line". Geelong Advertiser. 17 June 2010. Archived from the original on 18 August 2010. Retrieved 26 August 2010.
- "Taking the work train with trepidation". Geelong Advertiser. 23 August 2010. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012.
- "V/Line passengers rail against bosses". Geelong Advertiser. 22 April 2010. Archived from the original on 28 April 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- "Late trains keep commuters away from home: Mulder". Geelong Advertiser. 22 March 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- "Train seating report blasted". Geelong Advertiser. 3 June 2010. Archived from the original on 12 September 2010. Retrieved 6 September 2010.