Rail upgrade to boost freight train productivity: Albanese

By: Jason Whittaker


Rail works in Gheringhap due to begin next week will cut freight train travel times, according to Transport Minister Anthony

Rail works in Gheringhap due to begin next week will cut freight train travel times, according to Transport Minister Anthony Albanese.

The works, which will continue along the rail line to Ballarat, are part of the $73 million Mildura rail freight upgrade due to be completed in 2009. The upgrade is a state-federal initiative with the Brumby Government committing $53 million to the project, with another $20 million coming from the federal AusLink program.

Albanese says the works will allow freight trains to run at speeds of up to 80km/h, which will reduce travel times between Gheringhap and Mildura from 14 hours to less than ten.

"These important works will focus on creating a faster, more reliable rail link, allowing freight trains to run more efficiently," Albanese says.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Lynne Kosky says the works involve the installation of new sleepers and ballast as well as improved drainage along the rail corridor.

"Almost one in every two sleepers along the 525km line will be replaced, helping to ensure a high-quality freight line for many years to come."

Kosky says the upgrades are in line with the Brumby Government’s commitment to ensuring Victoria has a sustainable rail freight network that can take up a greater share of the growing freight task.

"The Mildura rail freight track upgrade will support the Victorian Government’s target of increasing the share of port related freight transported by rail," she says.

"As each section of work is completed along the line, we will see progressive improvements in reliability and performance of rail services."

Level crossings will be closed while the rail upgrades are done. Bannockburn Road will be closed February 5-6, Scanlon Road will be closed February 7-8, while Lower Plains Road will be closed February 9-10.

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