Next steps for Murray Basin Freight Rail Project

Australian and Victorian governments each investing up to $220 million

Next steps for Murray Basin Freight Rail Project
Murray Basin rail freight efficiency is the aim


Progress is being made on one of Victoria’s most crucial non-road infrastructure initiatives, the Murray Basin Freight Rail Project.

The tender for stages two and three of the project, which aims to standardise and upgrade the entire Murray Basin freight rail network, have been released.

The $440 million upgrade, jointly and equally funded by state and federal governments, is expected to boost the safety, capacity and reliability of freight services in north-west Victoria.

This project is economically crucial to better connect primary producers to Victoria’s major ports," federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester says.

"The Australian Government is committed to supporting farmers, their families and our regional economy through investment in much-needed regional transport infrastructure projects such as the Murray Basin Freight Rail Project."

Victorian major projects minister Jacinta Allan highlighted the boost to regional Victoria the project presages.

"This vital project will allow our primary producers to get more produce to port, more efficiently – boosting jobs and the regional economy," Allan says.

"It’s good for farmers and their families, and we’re not wasting a moment getting it to market and getting it done."

Completed earlier this year, the first stage upgraded the Mildura line with new sleepers and rails.

The second stage will standardise the track between Yelta and Maryborough to increase axle loading and handle heavier trains carrying more product, the governments say.

The Maryborough to Ararat line will also be upgraded and re-opened as part of stage two, providing a key freight connection to the Port of Portland from north west Victoria and interstate.

Stage three will standardise the gauge and increase axle loading on the Manangatang and Sea Lake lines.

Complementary works funded by the Victorian Government include completion of sleeper and rail upgrades on the Hopetoun Line and as part of the tender for stage-two works, standardisation of the Ouyen to Murrayville line.

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