Echuca Line passengers will soon benefit from faster train services, thanks to the completion of major track upgrades between Epsom and the new Goornong Station.
The track upgrades will allow trains to travel from 80km/h up to 130km/h between Epsom and Goornong, when a new timetable comes into effect on Sunday 12 December.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the track upgrades have been delivered by the Australian and Victorian governments, as part of the Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade.
“Bringing regional communities together is a key priority for the Government and these track upgrades help to achieve this objective,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The track upgrades mean faster and better services for passengers, while creating jobs and providing a much-needed boost to the regional economy.”
Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the track upgrades will enable passengers to get to where they need to go sooner.
“We promised to get on with these vital track upgrades to deliver faster train services for passengers between Epsom and Goornong – and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Minister Allan said.
“The completion of these track upgrades will give Victorians more choice about where they live, work and spend time with those they love.”
Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said further track upgrades to increase the speed of trains beyond Goornong towards Echuca are planned to take place in 2022.
“Crews have installed 20,000 new concrete sleepers and 50,000 tonnes of ballast along the line, as well as major track formation and reconstruction works at 20 sites,” Mr Drum said.
“Drainage improvments have also taken place, along with tamping, de-stressing and welding, culvert and bridge repairs, rail milling, and upgrades to signalling at eight level crossings.”
State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said passengers on the Echuca Line will reap the rewards of the track upgrades.
“The Echuca Line is a vitally important part of our regional train network – and these track upgrades give passengers the faster train services they deserve.”
“It’s great to see these track upgrades completed, which also delivers a massive boost to our local economy.”
Goornong station is the first of three new stations being funded by the Andrews Labor Government, as part of the Bendigo Metro 3 to give people in growing communities access to trains close to where they live.
Works on the Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade continue, with the delivery of Huntly station targeted for completion in mid-2022, and Raywood Station to follow late next year.
Design and development of the new electronic train order (ETO) system is also progressing, as part of Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade. The ETO system will allow additional weekday return services to both Eaglehawk and Epsom, and triple the number of weekday services to and from Echuca when the project is completed.
The Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade is part of the Australian and Victorian governments’ investment of more than $4 billion to upgrade every regional passenger rail line in Victoria.