Freight trains and limited XPT passenger trains will next week make their debut on the new North East Victorian rail line between Seymour and Wodonga.
Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC), Chief Executive Officer, David Marchant, said that as from September 20th limited services would run for eight to ten weeks on the rail line that was converted from broad gauge to standard gauge.
“For this period there will be four services a day on what we describe as the ‘western line’ between Seymour and the Murray River,” Mr Marchant said.
“This is not the opening of the line but it is an opportunity for us to run trains on the new track and give us some space during the day to continue our expedited maintenance of the original standard gauge track.
“We’ll still be running trains on the original standard gauge track so for this short period of time there will be trains on both tracks.”
“It’s also important to note that due to the western line being newly renovated it may take a relatively short time to ‘settle’ and could require further minor maintenance. ARTC maintenance crews will be carefully monitoring the track and rectifying any minor issues immediately.”
ARTC will also be continuing the commissioning of the new standard gauge converted track and the installation of signals.
“Because we’ll be running trains on a track that hasn’t seen trains for some time, we also want to alert motorists and the community to be careful at all level crossings between Seymour and to where the Wodonga Rail Bypass begins,” Mr Marchant said.
“Everyone can become a bit complacent and if you haven’t seen trains on a particular track for some time you may become less vigilant.
“We want everyone to treat every level crossing with care, look out for trains and cross only when it’s safe.”
The regauging of the track, work around stations and other rail upgrades are part of the $612 million North East Rail Revitalisation Project, a joint initiative of the Victorian and Australian Governments and Australian Rail Track Corporation. The project, which is nearing completion, will result in a double track standard gauge rail link between Seymour and Albury, which, along with the Wodonga Rail Bypass (a joint Victorian-Australia Government project), will usher in a new era for rail transport.