The Andrews Labor Government has completed the Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade, paving the way for travel time savings of up to 12 minutes for local passengers.
The upgrade forms part of the Victorian and Australian Governments $4 billion Regional Rail Revival upgrading every regional rail passenger line across the state.
Major improvements to a 60-kilometre section of track have allowed trains to travel at up to 100km/h between Goornong and Echuca, up from 80km/h.
More than 230 people worked for more than 30,000 hours to replace close to 15,000 sleepers and close to 21,000 tonnes of ballast.
Upgrades to bridges and drainage were also completed while trains were not running in May and June, making the line more reliable.
Passengers are now saving up to five minutes on their journeys from Echuca to Bendigo since trains returned to the line in June, with further savings of up to seven minutes to be delivered as part of a timetable change later this year.
The first stage of track upgrades, which enabled trains to travel at 130 km/h between Epsom and Goornong were completed in December 2021.
The Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade has delivered more frequent services to and from Echuca on weekdays, and track upgrades between Epsom and Echuca.
People in growing communities across Greater Bendigo have been enjoying new stations at Goornong, Huntly and Raywood for more than a year and were delivered months ahead of schedule.
The project has also upgraded ten level crossings between Bendigo and Eaglehawk, installing better train detection technology to boost safety and enabling more services in the future. New signals have also enabled trains to use the full length of the extended platform at historic Eaglehawk Station.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“We said we would upgrade the Bendigo and Echuca Line and that’s what we’ve delivered, make living, working and studying in the Bendigo region even more attractive.”
“These upgrades mean Echuca Line trains can go faster and get people where they need sooner – better connecting communities in central and northern Victoria with each other and the rest of Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to the Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters
“We worked closely with the State Government to deliver these vital upgrades to our rail network, improving the services that locals need and rely on.
“These rail upgrades are about getting people where they need to go, whether it’s home or to work, faster and safer.”
Reviewed 31 August 2023