The Government of Victoria in Australia has secured funds worth nearly A$1.5bn ($1.14bn) for a regional rail network overhaul project, which will create up to additional 1,000 jobs across the state.
The federal government has confirmed that the funding has been provided under the Asset Recycling Initiative for the Regional Rail Revival programme that was announced as part of the state budget last month.
Victoria Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said: “This is a once in a generation investment that will deliver improvements for every regional passenger line in Victoria.”
“It will upgrade track, stations and signalling across the state, to run more trains and get people home sooner, wherever they live.”
The funding includes A$516.6m ($392m) investment for Ballarat Line Upgrade, which is already underway.
A sum of A$39m ($29m) has also been allocated for Stage 2 of the project, that will deliver better services for Ararat and Maryborough.
Additionally, A$435m ($330m) will be invested for major upgrades between Pakenham and Traralgon under the Gippsland line project, and a further A$95m ($72m) will be used to replace the Avon River Bridge.
The project is anticipated to create 400 local jobs and will ensure reliable services between Melbourne and Traralgon, as well as enhance services to Bairnsdale.
Roughly A$110m ($83.55m) has been allocated for the first stage of the new Surf Coast Rail Project, and A$114m ($86.58m) for the Warrnambool line to upgrade track and signalling along the network in order to enable new VLocity trains to run to Warrnambool.
The package will also provide A$140m ($106m) to upgrade track, signalling and station improvements on the North East Line.
Around A$91m ($69m) has been allocated to improve services to Echuca and the delivery of Bendigo Metro Stage 2 with more services to Epsom and Eaglehawk.
The funding initiative gave approximately A$20m ($15.19) for the Murray Basin Rail Project and A$10m ($7.59m) for the planning of an improved freight network around Shepparton, anticipating an increase in passenger services at future.
Image: Victoria receives $1.14bn for regional rail revival. Photo: courtesy of Government of Victoria.