Australia to spend Aus $1.45 Billion on massive rail upgrade package in Victoria
The Andrews Labour Government has unveiled a massive package of regional rail upgrades that will improve services and create more than 1,000 jobs across Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan today announced that the Victorian Budget 2017/18 would include a $1.45 billion Regional Rail Revival package of upgrades on every regional line across Victoria.
The upgrades are the next stage of the biggest ever investment in regional rail – with the Labour Government now having committed more than $2.8 billion to improve regional rail services.
Premier Daniel Andrews commented, “This is the next stage of our regional rail revival – because regional Victorians deserve public transport they can count on. This huge investment will improve services on every regional passenger line in Victoria, and create more than a thousand jobs across Victoria.”
The centrepiece of the package is a $435 million upgrade of the Gippsland Line to run more frequent, safe and reliable services and create more than 400 jobs, with a project office in the Latrobe Valley. The upgrade will build new track, stations and stabling to provide more frequent, safe and reliable services to Gippsland, enabling trains every 40 minutes during the day, at night and on the weekend.
Train detection systems at 20 level crossings along the corridor will be upgraded to boost safety for motorists, passengers and local communities. The project will duplicate the notorious section of single track between Bunyip and Longwarry, and build second platforms at both stations to cater for the new dual track. Duplicated track will also be extended near Moe, Morwell and Traralgon, and a second platform will be built at Morwell Station.
At Traralgon, a second platform will be built at the station, signalling will be upgraded and the train depot will be relocated to a larger site to stable more trains and support more services.
This huge investment on the Gippsland Line will create more than 400 jobs, with a dedicated project office in the Latrobe Valley. Regional Rail Revival also includes an additional $95 million for Stage 2 of the Gippsland Rail Upgrade, which will duplicate the Avon River Bridge, enabling faster, more reliable services to Bairnsdale.
More than $200 million will go towards major upgrades in the Barwon South West region – including $100 million to upgrade the Warrnambool line to run more services.
$110 million will fund the first stage of a massive new Surf Coast Rail Project, which will prepare the corridor for duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, and reserve land for a future line to Torquay.
Passengers in Bendigo and Echuca will also benefit, with $91 million in upgrades to run faster trains, an extra daily service to Echuca, and delivery of Bendigo Metro Stage 2 with more services to Epsom and Eaglehawk.
In addition to the $518 million Ballarat Line Upgrade announced in last year’s Budget, the package will provide $39 million for Stage 2 of the project, to deliver better services for Ararat and Maryborough.
The Regional Rail Revival package also funds the signalling and station improvements needed to run new trains on the North-East Line, while the Labour Government continues to lobby the Commonwealth to fix the track they are responsible for through the Inland Rail project.
$95 million will be invested in Stage 2 of the Gippsland Rail Upgrade which will duplicate the Avon River Bridge, enabling faster, more reliable services to Bairnsdale.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan commented, “Regional Rail Revival will deliver better tracks, more services and a brighter future for the rail network regional Victorians rely on.”
The full Regional Rail Revival package, which includes the Ballarat Line Upgrade, is to be funded from the receipt of Victoria’s $1.46 billion entitlement under the Asset Recycling Initiative.