AN initial slice of the federal government’s $100 million commitment to fix the embattled North-East rail corridor will be used on a range of works to be carried out this weekend.
Australian Rail Track Corporation will spend $3 million from the package announced nearly a year ago on upgrading seven bridges at locations including Benalla, Balmattum and Euroa and another $1 million in annual maintenance will be spent on commissioning into use two level crossings with boom gates with a further five level crossings to be upgraded.
Also as part of the works which will force a shutdown from Saturday to Monday about 500 metres of mudholes will be removed.
Inland Rail will also carry out some early phase geotechnical investigations at the Murray Valley Highway near the Logic industrial hub.
ARTC executive Jonathan Vandervoort said close to 40 projects were planned to be delivered over a 60-hour period.
“Planned months in advance, the works will support the reliability of our passenger customers and growing freight operations along the rail network,” he said.
“It’s important we approach maintenance in a careful, staged and planned manner in the context of all rail operations and the needs of the entire network.
“This is particularly relevant for North-East Victoria which serves valuable freight and passenger services operating across the national interstate rail freight network, from Melbourne to Albury and beyond.
“A new freight rail customer operating out of Logic inter-modal hub has already gone from three services to five services per week in under a year, demonstrating continued confidence in the rail network meeting customer needs.”
The level crossing boom gates are being done in Wangaratta with other level crossings being upgraded at Euroa, Longwood, Benalla and Violet Town.
Mud holes are located at various locations between Craigieburn and Albury.
Trains will be replaced by buses during the three-day shutdown.
More than 20 freight and passenger trains run across the North-East railway line each day.
V/Line services run at 115kmh because they are a locomotive hauled whereas NSW TrainLink XPTs run at 130kmh.
Further work on the North-East line is expected to start in the middle of the year.