Australian Rail Track (ARTC) has awarded John Holland a contract for the main works of the North East Rail Line upgrade project.

John Holland will be responsible for carrying out ballast depth improvements, mudhole removal, track resurfacing, drainage enhancements. It will also make upgrades to 100 level crossings and rail bridges.

ARTC CEO John Fullerton said: “This is the next key stage towards delivering the upgrade to the North-East line and one step closer to improved reliability, smoother journeys and reduced causes of major delays for passenger services between Melbourne and Albury.

“Over the previous months, we have been following a rigorous competitive tender process. We are thrilled to award the contract to John Holland and are confident that their extensive experience delivering large scale rail infrastructure projects will ensure the best outcomes for the project.”

Early works on the project are already complete. The remaining work will address the performance issues of the V / Line.

John Holland Rail executive general manager Steve Butcher said: “We understand the upgrades are a key priority for those living in northeast Victoria and look forward to delivering these improvements and the benefits they will bring to the local community, businesses and economy.”

In July, French public transport company RATP Dev collaborated with John Holland on a bid for the upcoming Sydney metro project contracts.

Last year, a consortium led by John Holland won the A$1bn ($742.8m) contract for the Melbourne Metro Rail Project.

The consortium includes CPB Contractors and AECOM. It is responsible for the construction of tunnel entrances in South Yarra and Kensington.