The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and its contracting partner John Holland have completed works on the $235m North East Rail Line upgrade project.

The upgrade work will reduce rail journey delays for passengers travelling between Melbourne and Albury-Wodonga.

The upgrade was carried out on 532 linear track kilometres.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said: “With the completion of the main works on the North East Rail Line upgrade, passengers will experience more reliable services and a better ride quality between Spencer Street Junction in Melbourne and Albury-Wodonga.

“The works bring the rail line up to a Victorian Class 2 track performance standard, which is in line with other regional passenger rail lines in Victoria, including accommodating new VLocity trains on the line.”

Australian Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said: “The early success of the North East Rail Line upgrade meant the Australian Government could task ARTC to consider what further works might be accelerated with the pandemic offering the unusual opportunity to fast-track some of Australia’s major infrastructure projects during a time that would have minimal impact on commuters.”

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By GlobalData

From last July to November, ARTC fast-tracked works on the line, along with delivering more than 30 extra bridge deck conversions and extra turnout renewals.

The upgrade work was implemented by ARTC on behalf of the Australian Government, with aid from Victorian transport agencies.

Some of the transport agencies involved were Public Transport Victoria, Transport for Victoria, V/Line, and Rail Projects Victoria.

The Australian Government has made an investment exceeding $2.2bn for the completion of the regional passenger rail projects in Victoria.