Faster, more reliable passenger rail to Echuca and Bendigo receives green signal
Regional passenger rail services on the Bendigo/Echuca line are set to become quicker and more reliable following the Australian Government's commitment to deliver major track and signalling upgrade works on the corridor.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said the funding is being provided through the Regional Rail Revival program being jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.
“This project is a key element of the $1.75 billion program, which is set to deliver more frequent, reliable services on every major passenger rail line in Victoria and will support over 1,000 jobs,” Mr McCormack said.
“The Coalition Government has committed funding of $81.9 million towards the $91 million project.”
Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the project would enable trains to travel up to 130 km/h, up from 80 km/h, meaning quicker journeys for local passengers.
“This vital project will allow trains to travel faster, reducing travel times and getting local passengers where they need to go sooner,” Ms Allan said.
Nationals Senator for Victoria, Bridget McKenzie welcomed the funding boost saying the prospect of additional services would be welcome news to communities all along the line.
“The project is expected to increase the frequency and capacity of rail services originating and terminating at Epsom and Eaglehawk,” Senator McKenzie said.
“These are key junctions to the future and growth of Bendigo and Central Victoria, and make it easier to realise the goal of decentralisation.
“These upgrades and the increase in speed will better enable Victorians to more readily travel to conduct business right across the state.
“It is great to see upgrades are underway after local communities calling for increased efficiency on the Bendigo Echuca line for many years.”
Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum said the upgrade would also improve the reliability of train services along the corridor.
“Signalling modernisation between Bendigo and Epsom/Eaglehawk will improve efficiency and reliability of passenger services, helping with planning trips and inter-regional commutes,” Mr Drum said.
Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp welcomed the boost for communities in the north east.
“These upgrades will make a real difference for passengers in Echuca and right along the line—delivering the faster, more reliable services and creating local jobs.”
The $1.75 billion Regional Rail Revival program is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian Governments.
Construction works on the Bendigo/Echuca Rail Line are expected to begin in late 2018.