Northern region works keeps train line on track
By Karl Carrington.
Trains have returned to the Bendigo, Swan Hill and Echuca lines following a two-week blitz of major signal and structure renewals to provide safe, comfortable and reliable services for passengers.
Acting Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said more than 500 people worked around the clock to complete $21 million worth of infrastructure upgrades as part of V/Line’s major maintenance and renewals program.
Ms Allen said:
“These improvements ensure that these services will continue to be reliable and safe, providing the best journeys possible for passengers in northern Victoria.
“The area north of Bendigo Station is one of the most high maintenance on the line, where several tracks merge and diverge, so it’s crucial that the infrastructure there is in good shape.”
Completed over the school holidays, the works along the Bendigo line included a $6 million renewal of equipment that connects tracks north of Bendigo Station, a $3 million upgrade to the track in the Elphinstone Tunnel and the replacement of more than three kilometres of rail in the Black forest.
Crews upgraded several bridges and culverts on the Swan Hill and Echuca lines, along with works on the Murray Valley Highway level crossing in Echuca. Construction also ramped up on Bendigo’s new bio-wash and train monitoring facilities.
A new timetable is now in place, allowing a morning train from Eaglehawk to Southern Cross to make an additional stop at Sunbury, providing a more convenient option for Macedon Ranges students to get to school.
The train line will be beneficial to the surrounding community and help commuters within these areas. However, the Government made no announcement about the Mildura Line, where there is no domestic train service.