Construction timeframes have been announced for the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival - a four-year program that will upgrade every regional rail line across Victoria.
This billion dollar program includes an $80 million track duplication and other upgrades around Waurn Ponds Station that will complement the future rail duplication from South Geelong to Waurn Ponds. The Waurn Ponds upgrade is part of the $160 million Geelong Line Upgrade, with approximately $30 million of the funding will support the corridor preservation for a future link to Armstrong Creek.
The business case for the South Geelong to Waurn Ponds corridor duplication has been submitted for assessment to Infrastructure Australia, which follows the completion of the $4 million South Geelong to Waurn Ponds Planning Project.
According to Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan, the line duplication will remove bottlenecks along this section of the track, enabling trains to run more often as well as boosting reliability along the route.
The Regional Rail Revival program will be transforming public transport for regional Victorians, with benefits flowing as early as this year. The projects under the program will be progressively completed by 2022.
Ms Allan added that consultation with the local community will be commencing in the coming weeks in order to give locals the opportunity to have their say on the projects.
“Rail Projects Victoria will start consulting with communities over the coming weeks on the projects they are overseeing, so locals can have their say including on potential job opportunities on the projects,” Ms Allan said.
Subject to planning and environmental approvals, the target completion dates for the following projects are:
- Ballarat Line Upgrade well underway, and is expected to be completed by 2019
- Warrnambool Line Upgrade by late 2020
- Geelong Line Upgrade by late 2021
- Gippsland Line Upgrade by late 2022, with the Avon River Bridge replaced in early 2021
- Bendigo Echuca Line Upgrade by early 2021
Source: Regional Rail Revival
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said that the North East Line Steering Committee have met and it has provided an in-principle endorsement for the broad scope of works, which will be undergoing an independent peer review by Monash University.
“Ahead of the works commencing on the major upgrades, track resurfacing (‘tamping’) works taking place this month are also progressing well, with more than 50 kilometres out of a total 84 kilometres to be tamped now complete.
“The $1 million of works, funded by ARTC, is targeting priority areas based on V/Line and ARTC track information. Production rate are ahead of schedule and already providing improved V/Line passenger train performance,” Mr McCormack said.
In addition, planning and preparation for this vital upgrade is undergoing a thorough process that will ensure the project will deliver a Class 2 track performance which will provide more comfortable, punctual and reliable services.
“The steering committee is working hard to ensure these works are completed as quick as possible to get the track up to the standard North East Line passengers deserve,” Ms Allan said.
Businesses in the private sector are invited to register their interest to deliver works under the Regional Rail Revival program.
The $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program is expected to create over 1,000 jobs during its construction period.
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Source: Premier of Victoria