Working With Industry On Regional Rail Freight

31 July 2018

Victorian Government: The Andrews Labor 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 last week 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.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan

“The Murray Basin Rail Project and the Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project are critical projects for our freight industry and it’s essential that we get it right.”

“As we do this work it’s important we continue to work alongside farmers and the industry to keep trains running. I look forward to continuing working with these stakeholders, as project delivery strategies are finalised.”

Quotes attributable to Chair of the Rail Freight Advisory Council Peter Tuohey

“The workshops demonstrated government’s commitment to genuinely consult with industry experts.”

“The group were ideally placed to provide expert advice to government to make sure our farmers and the freight industry aren’t disadvantaged, while these important projects are delivered.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with government as it finalises project delivery strategies, and progresses actions to enhance the operations and capacity of Victoria’s rail freight network.”




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