| July 02, 2018

FASTER, MORE RELIABLE PASSENGER RAIL TO ECHUCA AND BENDIGO RECEIVES GREEN SIGNAL

Regional passenger rail services on the Bendigo/Echuca line are set to become quicker and more reliable following the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver major track and signalling upgrade works on the corridor. The Government has committed funding of $81.9 million towards the $91 million project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the funding is being provided through the Regional Rail Revival program being jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.

“This project is a key element of the $1.75 billion program, which is set to deliver more frequent, reliable services on every major passenger rail line in Victoria and will support over 1,000 jobs,” Mr McCormack said.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the Victorian Government had committed $9.1 million to the Bendigo/Echuca Rail Line Upgrade.

“The upgrade will provide travel time improvements on the Epsom to Echuca corridor by delivering a track upgrade that will enable trains to travel up to 130 km/h, up from 80 km/h,” Ms Allan said.

Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie welcomed the funding boost saying the prospect of additional services would be welcome news to communities all along the line.

“The project is expected to  increase the frequency and capacity of rail services originating and terminating at Epsom and Eaglehawk,” Senator McKenzie said.

“These are key junctions to the future and growth of Bendigo and Central Victoria. These upgrades and the increase in speed will better enable Victorians to more readily travel to see family, conduct business and attend school right across our great state. It is great to see upgrades are underway after local commuities calling for increased efficiency on the Bendigo Echuca line for many years.”

Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said the upgrade would also improve the reliability of train services along the corridor.

“Signalling modernisation between Bendigo and Epsom/Eaglehawk will improve efficiency and reliability of passenger services, helping with planning trips and inter-regional commutes,” Mr Drum said.

Through a $1.6 billion commitment, the Australian Government is majority funding the $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program in partnership with the Victorian Government.

Construction works on the Bendigo/Echuca Rail Line are expected to begin in mid- to late 2018.

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