Murray Basin freight rail upgrade well underway

The rail project will remove up to 20,000 trucks from the roads

New Murray Basin rail project will open more lines for freight transport

The Victorian government says planned upgrades to the Murray Basin rail project are currently ahead of schedule.

Crews recently completed 109 kilometers of mooring and ballast facilities after a contract was awarded for the next stage of work on the project.

After replacing more than 57,000 sleepers and installing 30,000 tons of ballast, the Murray Basin rail project is expected to be completed by mid-2022 and will remove most speed and heat restrictions that have limited the use of line.

According to the federal government, this stage of the project involved more than 130 workers on site and brought in more than $200,000 per month to the region in accommodation, food and hospitality expenses.

The contract for the next work package has been awarded to an alliance carrying out the work made up of ACCIONA, Coleman Rail and SMEC, which is supported by Rail Projects Victoria and V/Line.

Other works along the railway line will include track improvements on the Ararat line at Maryborough and Merbein and Donald siding works.

A modern signaling system will also be installed by V/Line at Ararat Junction to improve safety, efficiency and reduce transit time through the junction, with work in progress.

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The work will create 49 rail paths on the Murray Basin network, up from the current 28 paths, and is expected to remove approximately 20,000 truck trips from the road.

The revised scope of work for the Murray Basin rail project comes with an additional investment of $195.2 million from the Federal Government as well as $48.8 million from the Government of Victoria.

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