Rainbow to Dimboola line sleeper replacement work underway

Work has begun on replacing 39,000 sleepers on the Rainbow to Dimboola line in Victoria’s North West.

V/Line crews with the support of contractors are conducting the works that are funded through the Victorian government’s Building Works program which sets aside $83 million for regional rail maintenance.

Victorian minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said the works would support freight movements and economic growth in the region.

“This investment will help improve our freight network and ensure we are continuing to support farmers and freight operators at a time when they need it the most,” said Horne.

“We’re continuing to maintain and improve the network, taking extra steps to allow projects like this to continue safely and help keep track workers, suppliers and contractors working.”

In addition to sleeper replacement works, ballast will also be renewed and resurfacing will improve the condition of the track. Scheduling has aimed to minimise the impact on freight services using the line.

Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said the works were essential with a large grain harvest expected this year.

“This upgrade will provide easier and more efficient ways for farmers to transport their goods ahead of what is expected to be a bumper grain harvest,” said Pulford.

“The line has already been put to good use since re-opening in April, and this investment will make it even better.”

The 66km line from Rainbow to Dimboola was reopened in April after a $1m investment to replace 5,000 sleepers. So far, 38 freight services have used the re-opened line, carrying 100,000 tonnes of grain and replacing 5,700 truck movements.

Heavy use of the line has led farmers to previously call for further reopening of freight lines servicing grain growers and other primary producers throughout regional Victoria.

Duplication

Victorian train stations to get a make-over

The Victorian government will spend $24 million upgrading 16 train stations around the state.

The program of works is funded through the $2.7 billion Building Works package, of which $328.4m is being spent on transport projects.

The upgrades to train stations will include new passenger information screens, public address equipment, and disability shelters. Money will also go towards extra car parks, toilets, and bicycle parking.

Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said that the projects would support jobs in a number of communities.

“We’re hitting the ground running with these projects – creating hundreds of new jobs in the coming months to support local communities across Victoria that need it most.”

The station upgrades follow regional track improvements which were announced in July, as well as maintenance works.

Stations to be upgraded include Heathmont, Frankston, Melton, and Moonee Ponds in the Melbourne metropolitan network, and Broadford, North Shore, and Lara on the regional network.

It is hoped that the distributed nature of the numerous small-scale projects can provide a boost to local economies that have struggled during coronavirus (COVID-19) related shutdowns.

In total, the works are expected to create and support over 600 jobs, according to Carroll.

“Every dollar spent as part of this extra investment will support jobs and families, and improve our public transport network for everyone who relies on it.”

Works are expected to start in October with tenders to be released in the coming months.

A full list of upgrades are below:

Aircraft Station Accessibility upgrades: Installation of handrails, upgrade existing DDA carparks, installation of two Raised Boarding Pads (RBPs) including rubber fingers at train door 1. Upgrades to the pedestrian crossing via new rubber track inserts. Platform canopy and seating upgrades.
Anstey Station Accessibility upgrades: Installation of handrails, upgrade existing DDA carparks, installation of two RBPs including rubber fingers at train door 1. Installation of new DDA shelters. Upgrades to the pedestrian crossing via new rubber track inserts. Platform canopy and seating upgrades.
Heathmont Station Accessibility upgrades: upgrade existing DDA car parks. Platform, canopy and seating, fencing, Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI) installation, lighting.
Huntingdale Station Passenger information displays (PIDs).
Moonee Ponds Station Accessibility upgrades: installation of handrails, upgrading DDA car parks, installation of two RPBs including rubber fingers at train door 1. Upgrades to the pedestrian crossing via new rubber track-inserts. Toilet refurbishment.
Royal Park Station Platform, canopy and seating upgrades, bicycle parking.
Jordanville Station Accessibility upgrades: Upgrade fourexisting DDA car parks. Platform, canopy and seating upgrades, installation of TGSI.  Bicycle parking.
Footscray Station Platform PA system.
South Kensington Station Platform, canopy and seating upgrades, TGSI installation.
Frankston Station Public toilet and landscaping at station entrance.
North Geelong Station Platform PA system, toilet refurbishment, platform canopy and seating, accessibility upgrades.
North Shore Safety upgrades (e.g. lighting, CCTV).
Kilmore East Station Platform PA system, toilet refurbishment, platform canopy, and seating upgrades.
Broadford Station Toilet refurbishment, platform canopy, and seating upgrades.
Lara Station Platform PA, platform canopy, and seating.
Melton Station General station upgrades, accessibility upgrades, DDA upgrades, fencing, install PIDs.

Transport upgrades for Building Works program announced

The Victorian government has detailed transport works that will receive funding as part of its $2.7 billion Building Works program.

Announced in May, programs to be carried out as part of the program include upgrades to regional freight and passenger lines.

$83 million will be spent on improving 400 kilometres of freight only rail lines by replacing sleepers, repairing ballast, and renewing level crossing equipment.

$36m will be spent on the maintenance of the V/Line Classic Fleet, to be carried out by Bombardier. This will support 20 jobs for engineers, repair workers, and cleaners to maintain the V/Line fleet.

$7.5m will go towards upgrades to track for the regional passenger network, enabling more reliable services Deer Park Junction to Ballarat, Ballarat to Ararat, Donnybrook to Seymour, Corio to Waurn Ponds and the Bendigo East Track.

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne said that the upgrades would enable more efficient connections between primary producers and export facilities.

“The upgrades will mean produce can be transported from farm to port much more quickly, opening up key markets to Victorian farmers,” she said.

“These investments in our rail freight network are part of our ongoing commitment to boost our export power and support regional jobs.”

Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said the improvements would provide more reliable services for regional travellers, connecting regional centres and localities.

“We’re building on our unprecedented investment in regional rail, and this maintenance blitz will be a boost for local jobs and keep Victoria moving as we recover from the coronavirus crisis.”

In addition to the announced measures, funding from the Building Works package has also been earmarked for the maintenance and restoration of trams. Other works also include improving stations and stops across Victoria and managing rail corridors through the removal of rubbish and graffiti and the management of vegetation.