Five passing loops to be extended in southern states

Number of 1,800m trains to rise after rail passing loops upgrade project announced

Five passing loops to be extended in southern states
Five passing loop locations to be extended to allow for 1,800m trains.


Five Victorian and South Australian passing loops will be upgraded to allow for an increased number of 1,800m trains by mid-2016.

The $15 million project, announced by federal infrastructure minister Warren Truss and Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton, will enable the longer trains to operate in both directions between Melbourne and Adelaide.

"By facilitating longer 1,800m trains, we will enable an expected 20 per cent increase in capacity for each rail freight service at little additional cost to operators, ultimately, enhancing the competiveness of Australian businesses," Truss says.

Passing loop extensions are the duplication of a section of track to provide a resting point for one train as another, heading in the opposite direction, passes by.

The locations scheduled to be updated are at Mile End in South Australia and the Pyrenees, Murtoa, Pimpinio and Diapur in Victoria.

"We already have a limited number of 1,800m trains operating in the Melbourne to Adelaide section each week," Fullerton says, "but these longer passing lanes –in conjunction with the Torrens Junction separation planned by the Australian and SA governments – will allow high productivity trains to run in both directions."

"This project has been the result of careful analysis by ARTC in consultation with customers, as well as assessing the benefit of new Centralised Train Control (CTC) signalling which has been successfully implemented between Port Augusta and Tarcoola in South Australia."

The Pyrenees project begins this week, while all five sections are expected to be completed by mid-2016.

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