Rail operator V/Line and Wabtec have secured the contract to supply the new electronic train order (ETO) system for the regional network in Victoria, Australia, spanning from Bendigo to Swan Hill and Echuca.

As part of the Bendigo and Echuca rail line upgrade, this system will help in providing additional services to both Eaglehawk and Epsom.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said: “The new system will deliver much-needed additional services for passengers in and around Greater Bendigo and has the potential to transform the way some of the state’s long-distance lines operate.

“We are investing in critical projects such as this under our record $85.67bn (A$110bn) infrastructure investment pipeline as part of our world-leading Economic Recovery Plan.”

The new electronic system will allow more trains to run on these track sections.

Through onboard telecommunications equipment, the ETO system will detect a train’s position on the track and electronically transmit it to the controller.

This data is currently communicated manually between train drivers and controllers.

The system will also improve freight services by allowing one return service a week between Melbourne and Piangil, as well as Melbourne and Deniliquin.

Federal Member for Nicholls Damian Drum said: “The Bendigo and Echuca Rail Line Upgrade is being delivered as part of the Australian and Victorian Governments’ combined investment of more than $3.12bn (A$4bn) in Victoria’s regional rail network.”

Planning and development activity is already underway and the project is slated for completion late next year.

Patron Senator for Bendigo Sarah Henderson said: “This line upgrade forms part of a much broader commitment to regional Victoria with both governments’ contributions combining to creating 3,000 jobs.”