Work to deliver nine daily return services and faster journeys for Shepparton passengers will soon be underway.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce, Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan, Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum and State Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp today announced works on Stage 3 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade would kick-off during a construction blitz on the line next month.
Mr Joyce said delivery of Stage 3 will be accelerated by expanding on the Stage 2 upgrades already underway, which will deliver modern VLocity trains.
“The Australian Government provided the funding for Stage 3 to deliver the services Shepparton passengers have been waiting for, and now we’re making sure this work gets underway,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“Our record $110 billion infrastructure investment is all about delivering projects like this, where the community and the economy will benefit simultaneously.”
The new stabling facility being built north of Shepparton to house modern and reliable VLocity trains will be expanded, to accommodate even more trains and enable more services.
The Murchison East crossing loop will also be extended by an additional 1.1 kilometres, to enable a 1,200 freight train and two six-car VLocity trains to pass each other, making services more reliable.
Coaches will replace trains between Southern Cross, Seymour and Shepparton from Saturday
4 September until Sunday 12 September to allow construction on the expanded crossing loop to begin and for Stage 2 works to progress along the line.
The contractor delivering Stage 2 of the project – Coleman Rail and KBR, as part of an alliance with Rail Projects Victoria and V/Line – will deliver the expanded loop and stabling facility.
Ms Allan said using the expertise in place on the Shepparton Line is allowing works on Stage 3 to commence sooner, with a targeted completion date of 2023.
“The Victorian Government has been working hard to get the Shepparton Line ready for this massive step forward,” Ms Allan said.
“Our investment in the Shepparton Line Upgrade has already delivered extra services, and construction is well underway to bring modern VLocity trains to Shepparton for the first time.”
Mr Drum said Stage 3 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade also includes signalling upgrades between Seymour and Shepparton to enable additional services, and track upgrades to allow trains to travel faster on the line.
“These upgrades will give Shepparton the fast and frequent rail service befitting its status as a major regional centre,” Mr Drum said.
A delivery contractor for the track and signalling upgrades will be confirmed in the coming months, subject to procurement, planning and environmental approvals.
Mr Gepp said site investigations would also take place during the upcoming construction blitz, to inform the design of the track and signalling upgrades needed to deliver nine return services on the line.
“Delivering four extra services to and from Shepparton each day will give people in communities along the line more options for their travel and a train service they can rely on,” Mr Gepp said.
Construction of Stage 2 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade continues to ramp up and is targeted for completion in 2022.
The Shepparton Line Upgrade is being delivered as part of the Australian and Victorian governments’ combined investment of $4 billion in Victoria’s regional rail network, which is upgrading every regional passenger rail line in the state and creating 3,000 jobs.
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Reviewed 13 August 2021