Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Gee MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Andrew Broad MP Former Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Faster, more reliable passenger rail to Echuca and Bendigo receives green signal

Media Release

MM089/2018

02 July 2018

Joint release with:

The Hon Jacinta Allan MP

VIC Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects
State Member for Bendigo East

The Hon Bridget McKenzie

Deputy Leader of The Nationals
Minister for Regional Communications, Sport & Rural Health
Senator for Victoria

The Hon Damian Drum MP

Federal Member for Murray

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.