Maintenance works to begin on north west Victorian regional network

November will see a maintenance blitz on the Bendigo, Swan Hill, and Echuca lines to enable more reliable services to north west Victoria.

The $4m works will include track and signalling maintenance across all three lines, as well as safety upgrades at level crossings on the Swan Hill line.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll said that works had been aligned with upgrades to the Sunbury Line and Metro Tunnel works to reduce disruption.

“We’ve done months of planning to make sure we get as much done as possible while minimising the disruption for passengers,” he said.

“The safety of the community is our number one priority, which is why we’re working to upgrade level crossings and road intersections across the state.”

Near Kerang, train detection technology will be upgraded and boom barriers added to crossings at Murray, Victoria, Vaughan, and Wellington streets.

On the Bendigo line, ballast and drainage will be improved, culvert maintenance will be carried out in Clarkefield and the track and road surface will be renewed at the Ravenswood Street level crossing.

More than 8,000 sleepers will be replaced on the Echuca line, while the signalling system at the Murray Valley Highway crossing will be adjusted to allow for new traffic signals nearby.

Maintenance on the tracks between Castlemaine and Maldon will be carried out by Victorian Goldfields Railway, to support heritage services on that section of line.

Rail milling works will be conducted between Kyneton and Gisbourne. These improvements are funded by $1m from the Victorian government’s Building Works stimulus package.

Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said the works would improve rail travel in north west Victoria.

“These rail lines are a vital link for many Northern Victorians – we’re getting on with these upgrades to make sure passengers continue to have safe, comfortable and efficient journeys around our state well into the future.”

Works will begin on Friday, November 6 and continue until Saturday, November 21. Trains will be replaced by coach services.

Swan Hill latest beneficiary of Victorian transport ‘blitz’

The Swan Hill line in Victoria will return to service tomorrow following $3 million of improvements by more than 50 V/Line staff and contract workers.

The works, which were scheduled to take place over four days starting from Friday June 21, include significant track, signal and structure improvements.

For the duration of the works passengers travelling to Swan Hill had to take a replacement coach service from Bendigo; Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp thanked passengers for their patience during this period.

A concrete bridge deck has been constructed and tracks have been relaid on the bridge running over the Waranga Western Irrigation Channel near Tandarra, while the McCallum Street and Pental Island Road level crossings have had their signalling and train detection technology upgraded.

Sleepers have also been replaced and new ballast distributed on five rail bridges in Kerang and Tragowel, which will help to reduce infrastructure fault risks.

“Our program of continual maintenance and renewal works is vital to keep the regional train network moving effectively, delivering a more comfortable and reliable journey for passengers,” said State Minister for Public Transport Melissa Horne.

“These works will create a smoother ride for passengers and help future proof the consistently high reliability of the Swan Hill line.”