The Victorian government is investing $3.5 million in upgrade works to the Maryvale rail siding in Gippsland.
The siding is primarily used by freight trains hauling paper from Australian Paper’s Maryvale mill to Melbourne.
Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said the upgrade would ensure paper products continued to be transported via rail.
“This important upgrade will ensure Victoria’s busiest regional rail freight train continues to run and will support the jobs of 900 Gippsland workers,” she said.
“We’re keeping rail freight cost-effective and helping businesses like Australian Paper access key domestic and overseas markets.”
The upgrade will involve the replacement of sleepers and ballast, with ground resurfacing works also taking place. Ultimately, the works will increase the efficiency of the rail infrastructure by reducing maintenance expenditure, ensuring that rail remains competitive for Australian Paper.
Procurement will begin in early 2021 and construction should begin soon after that.
The funding for the project is part of the Victorian government’s COVID-19 response. In May, the government earmarked up to $90m for regional rail infrastructure upgrades.
“This work comes adds to the significant improvements to the signalling system in Morwell, which have already been completed – making it easier than ever to move freight through Gippsland,” said Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing.
To connect freight trains to the main Gippsland line, an automated signalling system in Morwell has been installed, replacing manual processes and improving integration across the network.