A massive construction blitz will see trains travelling faster on the Echuca Line before the year’s end.
Major works will take place during September and October on the Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade, allowing trains to travel at up to 130 km/h between Epsom and the new Goornong Station, up from the 80 km/h they travel currently.
Construction will also commence on new train stations at Goornong and Huntly while trains are not running, with critical works including track alignment and platform construction taking place.
Coaches will replace Echuca line trains between Bendigo and Echuca from 1 September until 31 October. Trains will still run between Bendigo and Epsom for local passengers.
John Holland has been appointed to deliver the track upgrades, which include replacing more than 20,000 sleepers, new ballast, drainage improvements, rail bridge upgrades, mud-hole removal and level crossing modifications to boost safety.
Deliveries of ballast and concrete sleepers have commenced along the line ahead of track works starting on 1 September.
Development of the new electronic train order system is also progressing, which will allow additional weekday return services to both Eaglehawk and Epsom, and triple the number of weekday services to and from Echuca after completion in late 2022.
The new station at Goornong is targeted for completion by the end of the year, with Huntly to follow in mid-2022 and Raywood Station on the Swan Hill Line at the end of 2022.
The Australian Government has committed $158.7 million to fund the $176.2 million Bendigo/Echuca Rail Line Upgrade in partnership with the Victorian Government.