The $440 million Murray Basin Freight Rail Project steams ahead with tenders released for Stages Two and Three, which will see the standardisation and upgrade of the entire Murray Basin freight rail network.
According to Federal Minister for Infrastructure and transport Darren Chester, the project will help boost the safety, reliability and capacity of freight services in North West Victoria.
“This project is economically crucial to better connect primary producers to Victoria’s major ports.
“The Australian Government is committed to supporting farmers, their families and our regional economy through investment in much-needed regional transport infrastructure projects such as the Murray Basin Freight Rail Project,” Mr Chester said.
Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects Jacinta Allan said that the Murray Basin Freight Rail Project was great news for regional Victoria. Ms Allan also said that this vital project will allow the State’s primary producers to get more goods to port more efficiently, which helps boost jobs and the regional economy.
“It’s good for farmers and their families, and we’re not wasting a moment getting it to market and getting it done,” Ms Allan said.
Stage Two will see the standardisation of the track between Yelta and Maryborough, which will help increase the axle loading as well as allow heavier trains that carry more product to market. For this stage, the Maryborough to Ararat line will also be upgraded and re-opened so that it can provide a key freight connection from North West Victoria to the Port of Portland as well as interstate.
The Victorian Government has also funded complementary works for this project which includes the completion of sleeper and rail upgrades on the Hopetoun line as well as the standardisation of the Ouyen to Murrayville line – which is part of the tender for Stage Two.
The Murray Basin Freight Rail Project is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments, each contributing up to $220 million.
For more details about the tenders for Stages Two and Three, you can visit the Tenders VIC website.
Tenders for both stages will be closing in early February 2017.
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