Brimbank council is calling for the Ballarat Line upgrade project to include electrification of the line to Melton and the removal of three grade separations.

The $518 million state-government funded upgrade will duplicate 18 kilometres of track between Deer Park west and Melton allowing more train services to run.

Stations west of Brimbank such as Rockbank, Bacchus Marsh and Ballan will also be improved and new passing loops built.

But the council wants to fast track the electrification of the line to fit in with the upgrade project.

It says electrification of the line now would allow it to be connected to the metropolitan train network when the Metro Tunnel Project is complete and would help reduce any “negative impacts” of the current works.

The council also wants level crossings at Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West; Station Road, Deer Park; and Robinsons Road, Deer Park removed.

“The increased train services will have a significant detrimental impact on the crossings, with the boom gates down for increased periods, severely impacting upon traffic flow on these roads,” a recent council report stated.

It stated that grade separation removals would also unlock the development potential of surrounding sites “providing a further positive outcome for the local and wider communities”.

“[It will] greatly improve access to education, employment and leisure opportunities for residents”.

The report highlighted the “high cost of running cars is a significant proportion of many household budgets in Brimbank” and that improved access to public transport would be among the other “positive effects”.

A spokesperson for Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the Ballarat Line upgrade will “pave the way for future electrification of the line to Melton, which would create a new metropolitan train line into the city that will run via Ardeer and Deer Park stations”.

The spokesperson said the upgrade works are expected to be completed in late 2019.

The council has indicated it will also lobby for the Deer Park and Ardeer train stations to be upgraded, describing their current condition as “unacceptable”.