Warning on Victoria fast rail sleeper choice

<p>Victoria’s regional fast train project will be isolated from other state and national rail networks unless the project uses gauge convertible sleepers, the Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) has warned.</p> <p>The RTSA said it is dismayed by the Victorian Government’s "apparent decision" to replace old timber sleepers with modern concrete sleepers &#8211 which cannot be converted from broad to standard gauge. </p> <p>Unless the project uses pre-cast convertible sleepers, any future standardisation will either cost taxpayers dearly or be prohibitive, RTSA spokesman Philip Laird said.</p> <p>"For the sake of less than 1% of the total project cost, it has been decided to use plain concrete sleepers rather than gauge convertible sleepers," Dr Laird said.</p> <p>"This will prejudice any future gauge standardisation of these lines and isolate them from the rest of the Victorian and national rail networks."</p> <p>The regional fast train project coincides with other state government schemes to convert regional freight lines to standard gauge, the association said.</p> <br />