Below Rail Infrastructure, Freight Rail, Passenger Rail

V/Line revises freight network heat restrictions

V/Line has revised its heat restrictions for the freight network over the coming summer, and will no longer be cancelling services on most lines in times of extremely hot weather.

Last summer’s restriction guidelines meant freight trains had to stop running on days when temperatures reached 33C, leading to service cancellations during last year’s record grain harvest.

Responding to concerns from sections of the freight and farming industries that last year’s restrictions would remain in place this summer, V/Line has announced that only two parts of the network – the tracks between Toolamba and Echuca and between Dimboola and Rainbow – will close when the temperature reaches 33C.

Elsewhere on the network, trains will be able to operate at reduced speeds when the temperature reaches 36C.

“Our track team has been hard at work completing maintenance and upgrades on the freight
network ahead of the warmer months, and we’ve been able to make the changes to the allowable
train speed in some sections of the network,” V/Line CEO James Pinder said.

“We’ve communicated the changes to freight train operators, so they can manage their
operations and we’ll continue to be in constant contact throughout the summer.”

The issue of heat restrictions was the first on which the new Freight Advisory Council was consulted. The Council is made up of leading industry representatives, who will share information with the rail operator, and make expert recommendations and consultation efforts across the freight rail industry, reaching out to stakeholders such as farmers and freight train operators.

The Council’s chair, Peter Tuohey, an industry leader and a former president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, welcomed the change.

“The revised heat-related speed restrictions were well received by our group, which represents
the whole rail freight supply chain,” Mr Tuohey said.

“These changes mean farmers and industry can transport more produce this summer, as freight
trains will still be able to run even during the hottest part of the day.”

1 Comment

  1. Hi All,
    This is interesting. Like Long Overdue, Should have been done years ago. With Stadardization of the Northwest perhaps it might B a wise move to Standardize the North East and integrate both systems to better use of Both Northwest and North East Freight. Better use of Freight and Motive Power, This would allow companies like SSR SCT, Qube and Other to bid on an Integrated Freight System.