Council is pleased that the Victorian Government has today announced $80M funding in the 2020-21 State Budget for the final stage of the Shepparton Passenger Line Upgrade.
Stage 3 of the Shepparton Line upgrade will include track and signalling upgrades to enable trains to travel at up to 130km/h, cutting travel times by 20 minutes between Shepparton and Melbourne. This stage will also deliver nine daily return services between Shepparton and Melbourne, up from the current five daily services.
This funding follows the Federal Government’s announcement last month of $320M towards Stage 3 of the Shepparton Rail Project.
Stage 1 of the Shepparton Line Upgrade was completed in 2019, which included a stabling upgrade at the Shepparton Station, 10 extra train services per week between Melbourne and Shepparton, and extra coach services between Seymour and Shepparton.
Stage 2 will provide all of the infrastructure required to enable modern Vlocity trains to operate to Shepparton for the first time. This includes a new stabling facility and crossing loop, and station, track and level crossing upgrades. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2022.
Greater Shepparton City Council CEO, Peter Harriott, said “on behalf of the Council, I would like to thank the Andrew’s State Government for its significant contribution to the upgrade of the line. I would also like to acknowledge the significant funding of $356 million in construction funding for Stages 1 and 2 already provided by the State Government with the contracts for Stage 2 signed recently. I would like to thank the government for working collaboratively to realise this transformative project for Greater Shepparton.”
“This significant funding commitment represents the conclusion of a considerable phase of advocacy by individuals and organisations from across Greater Shepparton that have lobbied for the long overdue rail upgrades,” said Mr Harriott.
“Council has worked hard to demonstrate the significant benefits of upgrading passenger rail services on the Shepparton Line. The upgrades are an initial step towards bringing Shepparton’s passenger rail services up to a level that is aspiring to be comparable with other regional cities. This infrastructure will allow for even more frequent daily services in the future.”
“The improved rail services will result in wider social and economic benefits for Shepparton and the wider Goulburn Valley region; offering improved access to medical and education services, and employment opportunities; solidifying Shepparton’s growing importance as a regional city; and greatly assisting our community recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explained Mr Harriott.