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Boosting The Rail Freight Network In Western Victoria

11 July 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to boost the rail freight network in western Victoria – making it safer, faster and easier for port operators and farmers to transport their product.

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne today visited the Rainbow area – to take a look at the Rainbow-Dimboola freight line – which will play a crucial role in moving this year’s Wimmera grain harvest to ports for export.

The 66-kilometre standard-gauge route services major grain receival terminals at Jeparit and Rainbow – and can carry up to 150,000 tonnes of grain each year.

More than $15 million has been invested on the Dimboola-Rainbow line as part of the Labor Government’s $83 million freight improvement Covid-19 stimulus package, including the installation of more than 38,000 standard gauge low profile concrete sleepers, track works and level crossing upgrades.

One-million tonnes of grain valued at $400 million was moved to port by more than 530 bulk grain trains on the V/Line freight rail network from July 2021 to April this year from 29 active grain sites.

An average 650-metre long fully loaded train carries approximately $880,000 worth of grain and is equivalent to 50 loaded trucks.

The Victorian Budget 2022/23 will deliver a further $181 million for critical maintenance works on the regional rail freight network to improve its competitiveness and support the growing freight task that is vital to regional economies and our supply chains.

In addition, a further $3.5 million has been allocated to extend the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS). The MSIS supports more than 170 freight industry jobs at intermodal terminals in regional Victoria and removes the equivalent of 28,000 truck trips from the state’s roads every year.

Quotes attributable for Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne

“The Rainbow-Dimboola freight line will play a crucial role in moving this year’s Wimmera grain harvest – which is why we’re continuing to invest and boost the rail freight network in the area.”

“Our investments on the line will ensure we are continuing to support our famers and freight operators – and allow them to keep safely transporting tonnes of grain to ports for export.”

Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford

“This is all about making sure our freight operators and farmers right across Western Victoria continue to be supported – with our investments to help make it safer, faster and easier to transport grain.”

Reviewed 12 July 2022

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