Heritage Trains, Industry Infrastructure, Operations and Maintenance, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand)

Gippslander steams across Kilmany Rail Bridge

Gippslander

Past met present on the rails as The Gippslander steam train travelled across the newly constructed Kilmany Rail Bridge in Victoria for the first time over the weekend. 

A special sight for trainspotters, The Gippslander – double-headed by the preserved R761 and A2 986 steam engines – travelled throughout Gippsland, including trips over the new 90-metre rail bridge at Kilmany. 

With the Kilmany Rail Bridge moving into place on the rail line in July, passengers on V/Line services have been enjoying the views from the new bridge and this week it was the steam engines’ turn to head across it too.  

The Princes Highway East Upgrade is adding 43 kilometres of new lanes to the Princes Highway between Traralgon and Sale. This is the third and final stage of the project, which will add an extra 5km of consistent two-lane highway.    

This will make for easier road and rail journeys throughout Gippsland for residents, commuters and visitors alike.  

Crews are working to dig out approximately 50,000 tonnes of material to create the area for the four lanes of highway traffic that will run underneath the bridge.  

The new rail-over-road bridge replaces the existing rail underpass that was built around 1965.   

The new lanes will bring immediate safety improvements for up to 15,000 motorists who use this stretch of road every day and improve journey times between Traralgon and Sale.      

A range of safety improvements will be delivered including, wider shoulders and centre median with flexible safety barriers to improve safety by reducing the risk of run-off road and head-on crashes.     

This stretch of road is also a gateway to a range of Gippsland tourist destinations including the snowfields and Gippsland Lakes. The project will make travel safer for day-trippers and holidaymakers, helping the region recover from the devastating bushfire season, through increased tourism.      

The project includes:

  • adding two additional lanes to provide a consistent dual lane highway with a central median at Flynn, Kilmany and Kilmany East.   
  • strengthening the existing highway, install safety barriers and tactile edge lines    
  • providing regular U-turn facilities    
  • upgrading an additional six intersections, including dedicated turning lanes    
  • improving local road and private access to the highway, including a service road in the Kilmany township   
  • constructing a new rail-over-road solution at Kilmany
  • completing the final stage of the Princes Highway East Duplication Project between Traralgon and Sale.   

The Princes Highway East Upgrade is due to be completed in 2024.    

Major Road Projects Victoria spokesman Brendan Pauwels said it was amazing to see Victorian manufacturing and engineering marvels, built over a century apart, brought together on the Princes Highway East Upgrade in Gippsland. 

“The Kilmany Rail Bridge has been open to V/Line services since July and having The Gippslander steam across was another proud moment for our team to see the bridge in action,” he said.