Regional Victoria receives rail upgrade

The Shepparton line will undergo major upgrades including new coach services as part of an ongoing revival of public transport in regional Victoria.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes and Independent Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed to outline the $43.5 million investment funded in the Victorian Budget 2017/18.

“This is the biggest upgrade to the Shepparton line in a generation, and it’s being delivered by a Labor Government,” Ms Allan said.

The upgrade will deliver new train stabling at Shepparton and a new crossing loop near Murchison East to enable more services to and from Shepparton from 2020.

While that work is being delivered, the Labor Government will add a new return evening coach service that will connect with trains at Seymour.

The new coaches will start in early 2018, with timetabling to be determined through community consultation in coming months.

Yesterday’s Budget also provides $311.1 million for 39 new VLocity carriages – building on the 48 the Labor Government has already ordered – and a major re-design of VLocity trains to enable them to run on long-haul services, including to Shepparton.

In addition, the Budget includes $12.5 million to refurbish V/Line’s classic train flee and $316.4 million in maintenance funding to replace sleepers, fix tracks and deliver the nuts-and-bolts work needed to keep the regional rail system working properly.

“This is a huge win for passengers in Northern Victoria – whose campaign for more investment and better services were ignored by the former Liberal and National Government,” Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes said.

“It will provide better connections for people in Shepparton to work, education and each other, and get them home safer and sooner to the people they love.”

These huge investments build on the recently announced $1.45 billion Regional Rail Revival package, which will upgrade every regional passenger line in regional Victoria – delivering more frequent, reliable services for passengers across the state.

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