Work began this week on upgrading 12 level crossings on the Warrnambool rail line, the latest step towards providing improved passenger services in Victoria’s south-west.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said crews were currently completing surveys of the crossings in readiness for the start of the construction phase of the project.
“The level crossing upgrades are part of the $114 million Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade project, which also includes a new crossing loop, signalling upgrades and new train stabling facilities,” Mr McCormack said.
“This is Rail Safety Week, and while I remind motorists to take care at level crossings and always expect a train, I am also pleased that work is progressing to upgrade 12 level crossings on the Warrnambool Rail Line from Hunts Road in Moriac through to Station Road in Garvoc.
“These improvements are a key element of the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program which will improve services on every major passenger rail line in Victoria while also supporting more than 1,000 jobs,” Mr McCormack said.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said that, following the completion of surveying works at each crossing, crews will connect each to the power grid before embarking on trenching works early next year.
“These works will build on the 22 level crossing upgrades completed on the line last year under the Victorian Government’s Safer Country Crossings Program,” Ms Allan said.
“Works on the crossings – from Station Road in Garvoc to Hunts Road in Moriac – will see boom barriers, bells, flashing lights and improved train detection technology installed, thereby substantially improving the safety of the line for motorists and train passengers.”
The upgraded train stabling facilities at Warrnambool will pave the way for VLocity trains, while the crossing loop will make it easier for trains to pass each other, helping services recover from unexpected delays more quickly and enabling a fifth daily return service.
“Work is underway on detailed planning and design work for the crossing loop and stabling upgrade, which will mean more frequent and reliable train services for communities on the Warrnambool line,” Ms Allan said.
“We are currently completing ecological assessments and other investigations near the tracks to gather data on the condition of the line, which will assist us in the design and construction of the project.
“The Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade follows a major investment by the Victorian Government in public transport in the state’s south west, including 12 new services added to the line in January 2017, and extra car parking spaces at Warrnambool Station.”
Being delivered by Rail Projects Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government, the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program is being jointly funded with the Australian Government providing $1.6 billion and the Victorian Government contributing $15 million.
The $114 million Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade project is also jointly funded by the Australian Government ($104 million) and the Victorian Government ($10 million).
More information about the Warrnambool Line Upgrade, and the Regional Rail Revival program, is available at regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au.