$43 million for Victorian rail freight

The State Government of Victoria is planning to invest $43m in regional rail lines servicing the grain sector.

The Victorian Rail Freight Network Review Committee, chaired by former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer, released its report "Switchpoint: The template for rail freight to revive and thrive!" in December and advised prioritised upgrades for lines designated gold, silver and bronze by importance.

Gold lines are the focus of an allocation "to achieve improved speed limits and deliver general maintenance, boosting the efficiency of the rail freight network".

Infrastructure minister Lynne Kosky said the Government is planning to spend $23.7m on the first stage of upgrades. Another $19m would be allocated for general maintenance across the freight network.

“These Gold Lines form a core grain network and were identified in the report as the first priority for rehabilitation of the network. That’s why we are taking action on Mr Fischer’s recommendations,” Ms Kosky said.

The Gold Lines to be upgraded are Korong Vale-Quambatook, Korong Vale-Charlton, Murtoa-Warracknabeal, Shepparton- Tocumwal, Swan Hill-Piangil, and Mildura-Yelta.

Ms Kosky said the Dunolly-Korong Vale and Echuca-Barnes, which are both ‘Gold Lines’, had already been upgraded.

The report recommended the Gold Line between Maroona and Portland for rehabilitation in 2010-11.



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