Bellarine Railway Track Upgrade




The Bellarine Railway will be conducting track upgrades between Queenscliff and Drysdale.
The latest updates will be published below.

April 2022 Update

Bellarine Railway Rehabilitation Stage 2 Project  Commencement Notice

Reference:        Update 01

Date:                4 April 2022

Project Overview

Upgrade of the Bellarine Railway line to support operations and expansion of Bellarine Railway services to grow as a regional community tourism asset. Rehabilitation of the 16.5km rail track infrastructure between Drysdale (High St) and Queenscliff (Bridge St); inclusive of yards and sidings.

  1. This rehabilitation involves sleeper replacement, upgrade to heavier duty rail, ballasting (distributing rock base for the rail track, link to example video: Ballast Regulator), and tamping (machine used for compacting of ballast and aligning of rails, link to example video: Tamping).
  2. Establishment of ballast area at Mannerim to be used as a temporary material storage for the duration of the project.
  3. Vegetation control along the 16.5km reservation to enable work crews to access the rail corridor.
  4. The works will be undertaken between Monday – Thursday 7am to 5pm, to ensure normal operation of Bellarine Railway between Friday – Sunday.
  5. The scope does not include building any new buildings or infrastructure (E.g – rail track, level crossings, sidings, etc).

Project Benefits

The outcome of the objectives would enable Geelong Steam Preservation Society to achieve the following:

  • Improve operations of Bellarine Railway Services.
  • Allow for expansion of train experience offerings, increasing visitation and providing broader economic benefits to the region.
  • Improve track infrastructure to support long-term sustainability of Bellarine Railway.
  • Indirect jobs and economic benefits created to supply chain businesses that support rail services.
  • Better riding experience – replaced sleepers and rails will provide better riding quality.
  • Reduce maintenance cost for both trains and tracks.

 Next Steps

In preparation of the major upgrade works, Bellarine Railway have been working on procurement of materials and equipment required for successful delivery of the project.

Tender package for major upgrade works is currently underway, with the Invitation for Expression of Interest sent out to a number of potential Tenderers for the project.

The Tender is expected to commence in April/May with an aim to appoint a Contractor in July.

Project Delivery

The very first piece of on-site work will be between Andersons Rd and Drysdale Bypass, where welding of rails are planned to occur April/May. This is one of many preparation works to be completed by DSL Welding for major works for the second half of 2022.

Ballast Regulator and Tamping Machine are currently being commissioned by Bellarine Railway, which will be the final delivering piece of the project distributing ballast to shape the final finish of the rail track.

Future updates will provide more details on project schedules, location of works and potential impacts on community and rail trail users.

Stay Informed

As the project progresses, we will keep the community updated via advertising, website updates, letterbox drops and signages.

We will endeavour to provide clear and transparent regular updates on the project, as well as providing sufficient notice to nearby landowners and community groups of upcoming works and of its potential impact to their everyday activities.

Any queries or questions can be submitted to:


Geelong Steam Preservation Society

June 2021 Update

The Geelong Steam Preservation Society, operator of The Bellarine Railway is excited and proud to announce that we have received Victorian State Government funding of $3.43M from the Regional Tourism Investment Program – Stimulus Round for the Bellarine Tourist Railway Strategic Infrastructure Project –  Stage 2

We thank the Department Of Jobs, Precincts And Regions and Regional Development Victoria; and all the supporters that assisted us to obtain this grant including Lisa Neville MP; City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliff; Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine; Roger Grant and many others.

The project is essential for the ongoing development of The Bellarine Railway and has been promoted by our society for a number of years.

It will allow for the rehabilitation of the 16.5km rail track infrastructure between Drysdale (High St) and Queenscliff (Bridge St); inclusive of yards and sidings.

This work involves:

  • Sleeper replacement,
  • Laying of 15000 tons of ballast and tamping.
  • Replacement of 24km (12km of track) of old 75lb rail dating back to 1886, with 41kg heavier rail  in longer lengths.
  • Establishment of a Track Infrastructure Ballast siding and compound at Mannerim.
  • Vegetation control along the 16.5km reservation to enable work crews to access the rail corridor.

The project is expected to result in the following outcomes:

  • Upgrade of the Bellarine railway line to support operations and expansion of Bellarine Railway services such as the Q- Train and Blues Train to grow as a regional community tourism asset.
  • As the railway line is in need of significant upgrade, the project will enable current service levels of this regional tourism attraction, to develop, grow and operate safely.
  • The project in its entirety will create 7.5 FTE construction jobs and support a further 32 jobs that rely on The Bellarine Railway/ The Q Train/The Blues Train. Benefits also include the indirect regional tourism jobs created by the activities of The Bellarine Railway.

The project will commence in July 2021 and will take around 16 months to complete.

The work will be done in stages, and the first sections to be undertaken will be station yards at Drysdale and Queenscliff followed by initial upgrade of the section between Lakers Siding and Queenscliff.

After this, we shall replace the rail and upgrade the track in 5 stages as follows:

  1. Portarlington Rd to Banks Rd
  2. Banks Rd to Swan Bay Rd
  3. Swan Bay Rd to Andersons Rd
  4. Andersons Rd to Princess St
  5. Princess St to Drysdale.

Each of these stages will have an impact on the use of the adjacent Bellarine Rail Trail, and public access may have to be restricted whilst work is undertaken in these sections, as there will be many heavy and light vehicle movements during working hours, and machinery and materials in the corridor.

We shall keep the public informed of any rail trail restrictions or closures with signage at the entry points and also via The Bellarine Railway and COGG websites

All enquiries should be addressed to our Project Manager :