Australia’s Victoria Government has announced plans for major upgrade works on the Bendigo and Echuca Line, due to be carried out later this year.

The track upgrade works will be delivered in September and October by Australian construction firm John Holland.

Under the project, the company will improve drainage systems, replace more than 20,000 sleepers and remove mud-holes.

It will also install ballast, renovate rail bridges and carry out level crossing modifications.

After the upgrades are completed, trains will be able to operate between Epsom and the new Goornong Station at a speed of around 130km/h, an increase from their current speed of 80km/h.

As part of the project, construction works on the new government-funded stations at Goornong and Huntly will also begin when trains are not operating.

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Victoria Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “The people in these communities have told us how important these new stations are to them and the future of their towns, so it’s great to see construction getting underway.

“By doing these station works alongside these vital track upgrades, we’re reducing the need for future disruptions on the line and making life easier for passengers as we deliver these massive benefits.”

During the overhaul period, Echuca Line trains will be replaced by coaches between Bendigo and Echuca. Trains will continue to operate between Bendigo and Epsom for local commuters.

Track alignment and platform construction works will also be executed at the new Goornong and Huntly stations.

Raywood Station on the Swan Hill Line is scheduled for completion at the end of next year, while the Huntly station is due to be finished next year.

Last month, the Victoria Government unveiled updated designs for a new train station in Surrey Hills, which aim to enhance safety at the level crossings.

The work involves the removal of level crossings at Union Road in Surrey Hills and Mont Albert Road in Mont Albert, said to be Melbourne’s most dangerous and congested level crossings.