A joint venture between McConnell Dowell and Martinus Rail has been appointed as the preferred contractor to deliver stages two, three and four of the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project in Victoria, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments.
“Once the Murray Basin Rail Project is completed, trains on the freight network will be able to carry more product, more often.
“There will be huge benefits to the Australian economy, with the project supporting an increase in competition between three ports and operators of freight trains and increasing export volumes to overseas markets,” Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said.
The project will involve:
- Upgrading 1,055 kilometres of the line in the Murray Basin from broad gauge to standard gauge
- Rebuilding and upgrading to re-open for traffic the 87-kilometre closed line between Ararat and Maryborough
- Upgrading the lines in the Murray Basin from 19 to 21 tonnes per axle, except the Ouyen to Murrayville line – which will remain at 19 tonnes per axle
- Upgrading the Ouyen to Murrayville line to standard gauge, including axle loading improvements
The Murray Basin Rail Project will help improve the State’s rail freight network as well as provide the Murray Basin region with better rail freight services, increased rail access and greater reliability. The project will also help increase the volume of products which can be transported to market.
“We know that this project is not just about providing more efficient rail freight services and increasing capacity, the project has the potential to deliver hundreds of local jobs, boost exports and create ongoing sustainable economic growth across North Western Victoria,” Martinus Rail Chief Executive Officer Treaven Martinus said.
This upgrade project is expected to create up to 400 jobs during peak construction.
“Generating local jobs and spending locally will be a key focus of our team and we will be recruiting at least 15 per cent of our workforce from the Murray Basin region,” McConnell Dowell Managing Director for Australia Jim Frith said.
Works are scheduled to begin in July 2017 and be completed by August 2018.