The first step of the Andrews Labor Government’s transformation of the Murray Basin Rail network is complete.
In February the Labor Government fast-tracked $5 million of critical maintenance works, including 28,000 new sleepers across 70 kilometres of rail line between Ouyen and Carwarp in Victoria’s north west.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan visited Maryborough Station to announce that these works had been carried out, which will allow speed restrictions to be lifted on this section of the Murray Basin freight network.
The 2015-16 Victorian Budget included $25 million for further maintenance works on the Mildura freight line between Yelta and Maryborough, including the replacement of 3,400 metres of rail and nearly 100,000 sleepers. This work commenced in August and is due for completion in early 2016.
A further $5 million is being used to plan and design the second stage of the $416 million Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP), which will standardise the Murray Basin rail network and increase axle loading to 21 tonnes.
As part of this work, PTV and V/Line will be inspecting bridges, drainage and level crossings on the currently unused rail line between Ararat and Maryborough. These assessments will start this month and be completed in early-2016.
PTV has also commenced discussions with local government, farmers and industries in Victoria’s north west, to ensure planning is coordinated so producers can continue to get product to market during construction.
The Labor Government has provided $220 million to MBRP, and is seeking Federal Government support to deliver this project of critical importance to the Victorian and Australian freight network.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan
“The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with delivering the Murray Basin Rail Project, which will boost the safety, capacity and reliability of freight services and better connect primary producers to the State’s major ports.”
“The maintenance works between Ouyen and Carwarp – funded with $5 million fast-tracked in February – are a critical first step in this transformational project.”
“Standardising the Murray Basin rail network, and increasing the loads it can carry, will allow primary producers to get more produce to port, more efficiently – boosting jobs and the regional economy.”
“This is good for farmers, their families and our economy, and we’re calling on the Turnbull Government to step up and contribute to this critical project.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020