The Corio Independent Goods Line is part of the 'Geelong Rail Access Improvement Project' and is to provide dual gauge freight access to the Port of Geelong. Work started in 2008, with the initial stage being a single dual gauge line from the Grain Loop along the east of the present broad gauge lines, connecting to the Midway log sidings at North Shore. The first trains used the line in early October 2008, the first standard gauge train being a few weeks later. It was a Pacific National grain train that was stabled there for a number of weeks.
Planning of the line started in the early 2000s, it being part of the 'Geelong Port Rail Access Improvements', later renamed the 'Geelong Rail Access Improvement Project'. In 2004 consisted of three parts, to be completed by 2005/06:
- Lascelles Wharf rail connection, costed at $5.1 million, with land acquisition to commence after receiving a business case from Toll GeelongPort.
- Corio Independent Goods Line, to provide a dual gauge link to various sidings in Geelong, costed at $13.5 million.
- North Geelong track modifications, dual gauging of various broad gauge sidings, as well as resignalling, and provision of a run around for standard gauge trains accessing the grain loop.
Asia Pacific Rail carried out concept and design works for the first stage in 2004. By the end of the 2003-04 financial year the State Government had spent $399,000 on the CIGL and $203,000 on the Lascelles Wharf connection. They also planned to spend $700,000 and $100,000 respectively in the 2004-05 financial year. By 2005 the project had already been delayed for over four years,
Later stages of the CIGL are planned to head north and east to Lascelles Wharf, and then further north to Shell Refinery. The construction of both of these are doubtful with the demise of the oil traffic by rail in Victoria.
The line starts at North Geelong C and runs along the Grain Loop until it passes under the main Geelong line. The CIGL branches off to the left, where it is joined by a broad gauge track via trailing points from the eastern side of North Geelong Yard, as well as facing points for the broad gauge only Harbour Trust Sidings. The line from North Geelong Yard remains baulked due to the poor track condition of the existing section of track into the yard.
When the CIGL was first opened the line to Corio Quay was left disconnected and unused, the connection not being made until a number of months later in February 2009. This required the set of points from North Geelong Yard to be relocated in the down direction, addition of a new set of dual gauge points, and relocation of signal CGL 42 (for down trains towards the junction). The connection to Corio Quay itself has yet to be completed.
After the junction the CIGL then runs parallel to the main Geelong line, crosses Cowies Creek on a new bridge and then connects to the former down end main line connection of the Phosphate Sidings at North Shore. One track of the North Shore Road level crossing was rebuilt as dual gauge, and the switchlock and main line points at the down end were removed.
The sidings themselves were rebuilt, with two though broad gauge sidings parallel to the main Geelong line, and joining it at the Corio end as before. There are also two dead end sidings facing the Midway Siding end with access from the Corio end. There are also three standard gauge sidings running into a head shunt at the Corio end, and then to the east four broad gauge sidings connecting into a head shunt across from the Phosphate Works, which is baulked. The north to east leg of the triangle here was lifted.
CIGL schematic diagram
- Red is broad gauge
- Blue is standard gauge
- Purple is dual gauge
A number of signals have been provided for the new line. All are home signals and have the 'CGL' designation.
- CGL 40: Up trains from North Geelong C towards the Grain Loop or the CIGL. Gauge indicators and medium speed aspects.
- CGL 42: Down trains from the CIGl towards North Geelong C or North Geelong Yard. Gauge indicators and low and medium speed aspects.
- CGL 44: Down trains from CGL 46 towards North Geelong C. Gauge indicators and low and medium speed aspects.
- CGL 46: Down trains from the Grain Loop towards CGL 44. A repeating signal that only shows Y/Y or Y/G.
- CGL 48: Up trains from North Geelong Yard towards the CIGL. Dwarf signal.
- CGL 26: Up trains from the CIGL towards the sidings at North Shore. Gauge indicators and low speed aspect only.
- CGL 30: Down trains from the broad gauge at North Shore towards CGL 42 and the CIGL. Medium speed aspects only.
- CGL 32: Down trains from the dual gauge at North Shore towards CGL 42 and the CIGL. Medium speed aspects only.
Motor operated points are provided at:
- CGL41: Points between the grain loop turns back on itself.
- CGL43: Points between the grain loop and the CIGL.
- CGL37: Points where the BG enters at CGL 48. A motorised derail also provided.
- CGL27: First points encountered at North Shore.
- Catchpoints in the DG line at North Shore at CGL 32, and a motorised derail for the BG line at CGL 30.
Thanks to Chris Gordon for the additional information on the signal aspects and points.
- Red is broad gauge, as is grey
- Blue is standard gauge
- Purple is dual gauge
- Black are roads
Near the grain loop:
- Grain Loop
- North Geelong C
- Corio Quay North (disconnected from main line at the grain loop)
- Corio Quay South (disconnected from main line at the grain loop)
- Former sidings for the Freezing Works (mostly all lifted)
- Sidings that are disconnected from the main line, but still evident.
Near the phosphate sidings at North Shore:
- [Now removed BG headshunt]
- Apex Quarries
- Ford Siding (closed and lifted, approximate layout)
- Phosphate Works (baulked at the road level crossing)
- Midway Siding
- International Harvester (closed and lifted, approximate layout)
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- State Government of Victoria - Public Sector Asset Investment Program 2004-05 - Budget Information Paper No. 1
- John Begley (Chairman, Victorian Freight and Logistics Council) - submission to the "Inquiry into the Integration of Regional Rail and Road Freight and their interface with Ports" - June 2, 2005.