The federal government will provide $235 million in funding for Victoria’s North East Rail Line project, following formal approvals.
The aim of the project is to improve V/Line services more reliable and reduce delays by upgrading the line to achieve Victorian Class 2 performance standard. The project forms part of the $1.7 billion Regional Rail Revival program, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.
“Today’s announcement is a key step in confirming the Australian Government’s commitment to getting this project delivered,” federal infrastructure and transport minister Michael McCormack said.
“This follows detailed review of the scope of works by the Institute of Railway Technology at Monash University, which has confirmed that it will deliver the track quality the community expect.”
The Class 2 performance standard is necessary for the new VLocity fleet to run along the line.
Train manufacturer Bombardier has agreed to complete the design of bogies for the new standard gauge VLocity trains for Victoria’s North East Line, as part of the state’s efforts to get trains ready for the upgraded line when it opens.
Multiple review and endorsement processes for the North East Line upgrades were undertaken by agencies including Transport for Victoria, Rail Projects Victoria, Public Transport Victoria, V/Line, the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities as well as the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
“This project is an extremely important investment in better-connecting the region and directly tackles the various causes of cancellations and delays such as track condition, signalling faults, passenger delays and rolling stock maintenance,” McCormack said.
“These works will be delivered by the ARTC in a coordinated way with the upgrades needed for the Inland Rail, which are scheduled for delivery over a similar time frame.
The project is expected is begin in early 2019 and be completed by the middle of 2021.