Major maintenance and renewal works on the Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca lines are complete, and trains are now back up and running.
Over the past four weeks, more than 1500 V/Line staff and contractors worked around-the-clock upgrading track, strengthening bridges and removing mud holes to keep services safe and reliable.
Construction crews replaced nearly 40,000 sleepers and 25,000 tonnes of ballast between Sunbury to Swan Hill.
Nine rail bridges were also strengthened, including installation of a new deck on the Taradale viaduct, and waterproofing work on the Malmsbury viaduct and Forest Creek bridge in Castlemaine.
Other work included repairing the roof at Woodend Station, removing mud holes between Eaglehawk and Dingee, signalling works on the Bendigo line and upgrades to the pedestrian subway at Macedon Station.
The V/Line works were scheduled at the same time as level crossing removal works in St Albans to reduce disruption to passengers. A delay in works on the St Albans project due to unusually wet and windy weather caused a one-day delay in the return of V/Line services.
The works would have taken more than four years if carried out during weekend closures, making a mockery of Liberal calls to split the works up instead of delivering them in a single construction blitz.
The $46 million maintenance and renewal package is part of $1.3 billion the Andrews Labor Government provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17 to improve regional public transport, including more than more than 170 new services, 27 new VLocity carriages and $198 million to rebuild the capacity of V/Line.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The biggest package of V/Line works since Labor’s $3.65 billion Regional Rail Link is now complete and trains are back up and running on the Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca lines.”
“I thank passengers for their patience over the past four weeks, while we worked around-the-clock to repair and improve the train line that so many passengers rely on to get to work and home again at the end of the day.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“The $46 million worth of maintenance and renewal has upgraded track, replaced sleepers and strengthened bridges over hundreds of kilometres – critical work that will keep services safe and reliable for local passengers.”
Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas
“We’re investing in new trains, extra services and the nuts and bolts maintenance work our network needs, so passengers get the services they deserve.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes
“I know it has been disruptive over the past four weeks but the benefits of this significant investment will last decades, ensuring people in northern Victoria continue to have safe, reliable services to them where they need to be.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020