The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has appointed a main works contractor for the $235 million North East Rail Line Upgrade project in Victoria, taking the project one step closer to major construction.
John Holland will be undertaking the main works package that comprise of ballast depth improvements along the entire corridor; mudhole removal and track resurfacing; drainage upgrades; and upgrading of about 100 level crossings and rail bridges.
“This is the next key stage towards delivering the upgrade to the North East line and one step closer to improved reliability, smoother journeys and reduced causes of major delays for passenger services between Melbourne and Albury.
“Over the previous months we have been following a rigorous competitive tender process. We are thrilled to award the contract to John Holland and are confident that their extensive experience delivering large scale rail infrastructure projects will ensure the best outcomes for the project,” ARTC Chief Executive John Fullerton said.
This multi-million dollar project will include:
- Installation of two new sets of crossovers between Seymour and Benalla to improve track access for work crews to minimise disruption of the works program. Crossovers also allow greater operational flexibility helping to maintain reliability
- Adding, replacing and compacting new railway ballast (the rocks around the track) to provide a stable base for train operations by improving the track’s foundation and drainage
- Removing mudholes where ballast has been contaminated to improve drainage
- Resurfacing including packing and compacting more ballast in between the rail and sleepers
- Upgrading the track machinery (turnouts) that enable trains to be guided from one track to another, such as at a railway junction
- Relocating overhead signal wires to underground to decrease risk of signal failures due to trees falling on wires or line wire theft
- Installation of additional backup power supplies including solar in some locations to minimise signal outages due to power supply
- Drainage improvements by creating and reforming trackside drainage to ensure water flows away from tracks properly
- Grinding rail tracks so there is a smoother, even interface between the track and wheels of the train
- Replacing older timber top bridges with new concrete and ballast top bridges
- Improving the track at level crossing to make journeys smoother
“We understand the upgrades are a key priority for those living in north east Victoria and look forward to delivering these improvements and the benefits they will bring to the local community, business and economy.
“We know that the reliability of North East line services is a real and on-going concern for passengers, and we continue to work with the Victorian transport agencies to find ways of improving the track condition ahead of the commencement of the upgrades main works,” John Holland Executive General Manager - Rail Steve Butcher said.
Significant early work on the North East Rail line Upgrade have been completed this year and more targeted works are being planned to help address some issues on the current V/Line services performance.
Once the upgrade is completed, the North East line will be improved to a ‘Victorian Class 2’ track performance standard that is in-line with other Victorian long distance rail lines.
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