La Trobe Valley rail freight infrastructure boost

Improvements linked to Maryvale Mill paper exports

La Trobe Valley rail freight infrastructure boost
The Maryvale paper mill


Freight rail improvements to the link between the Latrobe Valley and Melbourne have been completed, the Victorian government noted.

The $3 million program had enhanced the reliability of the freight for the Opal Australian Paper Maryvale Mill, freight minister Melissa Horne said.

"These important works will help ensure one of Victoria’s busiest regional rail freight trains can continue to operate a frequent and reliable service now and into the future," Horne added.  

The Maryvale mill makes close to 600,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard annually, with more than half transported by train.

Read about Gippsland freight firm Bonaccord’s bushfire  challenge, here

The spending aimed to ensure paper will continue to be sent by rail for export following improvement works to the Maryvale freight siding.

"Part of a broader $83 million investment into regional rail maintenance, the upgrade links the mill to the main Gippsland rail line, including sleeper replacements, ballast renewal, track resurfacing and mud hole removal, and yard and drainage work," the government said.

"Improved track conditions will help ensure the daily trains can run from the mill before connecting to the Gippsland line and continuing to Melbourne. 

The works will also assist with the ongoing upkeep of the line and improve the safety and reliability of the siding for freight services."

The work follows the installation of an automated signalling system in Morwell last year to help freight trains from the mill connect with the main Gippsland line, replacing manual processes and assisting trains to better integrate with the rest of the network. 

"With this maintenance program nearing completion across regional Victoria, the stimulus works have seen more than 120,000 sleepers replaced on the rail tracks between Sea Lake and Dunolly, making it faster and easier for freight operators to transport goods," the government said. 

The program’s final project will see a $7.3 million investment to improve level crossing safety by replacing rail infrastructure and equipment at six-level crossings across the state, including installing new axle counters and computer-based interlocking equipment.


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