The Government of Australia has funded a rail upgrade project that is set to improve freight movement between Adelaide and Melbourne by approximately 20%.
The A$15m ($11.9m) upgrade will involve the extension of multiple crossing loops.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester stated that the development will allow lengthier 1,800m trains to run on the line, thereby improving rail freight movement.
Chester said: “By investing A$15m in the project, we have created a situation where the maximum length of trains operating from Adelaide to Melbourne can be increased by up to 300m.
“The initial scope of the project was to deliver five extensions to crossing loops, which provide opportunities for trains heading in opposite directions to pass each other on single line sections of track, but thanks to clever project management, an extra passing loop at Dimboola in regional Western Victoria was also upgraded within the original project budget.”
Victoria-based crossing loops situated at Pyrenees, Murtoa, Pimpinio, Diapur and Dimboola, as well as South Australia's Mile End loop, have been extended to 1,800m by Australian Rail Track (ARTC) under the initiative.
Chester added: ““A 1,800m train carries the equivalent of more than 85 B-Doubles worth of freight that would typically travel by road through South Australia.
“Moving more freight by rail is crucial to meet the expected doubling of freight demand over the 20 years to 2030, while reducing urban congestion.”
Additional track upgrades are also currently underway in Adelaide.