Working with industry on regional rail freight

The Victorian Government continues to work alongside industry on the next stages of the Murray Basin Rail Project and the new Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project.

Leading rail freight and farming industry representatives came together to provide advice and input to enhance rail freight operations and alignment between the remaining stages of work for the Murray Basin Rail Project, the Ballarat Line Upgrade and the Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project.

The $130 million Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project will deliver a number of track and signalling improvements which were not included in the original Murray Basin Rail Project, as well as providing the infrastructure to support future increases in passenger rail.

The Project will ensure a minimum of 42 weekly return freight paths from the Murray Basin region through Ballarat, with the ability to increase to 65 if required via the Ararat and Maryborough loop.

Clear themes emerged from the workshops including the need to optimise rail freight operations to boost the capacity of Victoria’s rail freight network. Industry also provided clear timelines for harvest and movement of goods, informing the project delivery timelines and advice on how to ensure good communication and engagement as works continue.

There was strong support for both projects, with an emphasis from industry to prioritise delivery of the Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project to ensure this is complete before finalising the standardisation and upgrade works on the Sea Lake, Manangatang and Gheringhap to Warrenheip lines, being the remaining stages of the Murray Basin Rail Project.

Industry also supported a 2020 delivery timeline for the Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project and the remaining stages of the Murray Basin Rail Project, which allows industry time to plan and manage disruption due to the delivery of both projects, and continue to get Victorian farm products to Ports by rail.

Industry will come back together in the coming weeks as the Government finalises project delivery timelines.

Source: Vic Government