The extensive upgrade and modernisation of the main North-South Line connect Melbourne to Brisbane via Sydney is progressing well, with yet another new multi-million passing loop near Donnybrook completed and from today operational.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said $25.9 million project – funded as part of the Economic Stimulus Plan – involved laying 6.8kms of new track and sleepers as well as installing new high speed turnouts and the latest signalling technology.
“The newly completed Donnybrook passing loop, together with a similar one now being built further north near Culcairn, will cut transit times and lift capacity along the line between Melbourne and Junee,” said Mr Albanese.
“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the worst global recession in three generations, our unprecedented investment in the nation’s rail infrastructure is building a more prosperous Australia while helping to cut carbon pollution.
“All up, the Gillard Labor Government is investing an unprecedented $3.4 billion to modernise the Interstate Network – a capital works program which by 2014 will have rebuilt more than a third of this critical piece of infrastructure, or 3,771 kilometres of existing track, as well as extended its reach by a further 235 kilometres.
See map below for the locations of the new passing loops.
ARTC CEO John Fullerton said the new passing lane represents a significant investment in increasing capacity and reducing transit time between Melbourne and Sydney.
“We’re pushing forward with our ambitious upgrade of Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne corridor, part of our plan to make rail even more competitive. Indeed by increasing capacity and reducing transit time, we’re building this important rail link into an efficient transport corridor for our customers,” said Mr Fullerton.
“With the inevitable increase in demand for the transport of goods, the trucking industry won’t be able to handle the increasing freight task alone.
“Passing lanes are significant pieces of infrastructure which allow trains carrying freight between our capital cities to pass each other at regular speed. This has the important roll on effect of reducing overall transit time on the Main South line between Sydney and Melbourne.
“This investment and the resurgence in freight rail is also good news for the wider community. It will allow more freight to be transported by rail – which over time will mean fewer trucks on our roads.”
Every 1,500 metre train can carry as much freight as 100 semi-trailers.
The Donnybrook project was delivered by ARTC’s partners, South Improvement Alliance.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.