North East Line Upgrade

Improving V/Line reliability on the North East Line

The North East Line Upgrade project is focused on improving the reliability of passenger rail services between Melbourne and Albury.

The project will help:

  • improve V/Line service reliability by upgrading track condition and addressing the main causes of delays
  • improve ride quality (ride comfort) for passenger services by reducing the bumps experienced during travel
  • make journey times more reliable and reduce the causes of major delays, with new signalling improvements and backup power systems.

The Australian Government has committed $235 million to the project which will upgrade the rail line to a ‘Victorian Class 2’ track performance standard, in line with other long-distance regional rail lines in Victoria.

Keep up to date and let us know your thoughts

We want to know your thoughts and keep you up to date on the project.

  • Sign up to receive works disruption notifications and information on upcoming community events or just for further information on the project via the sign up form below.
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Upcoming Community Events

We are committed to working closely with stakeholders as the North East Line Upgrade project progresses.

Upcoming information sessions and community events we will be participating are listed below. Please come visit us to find out more about the project, provide your feedback or ask us questions:

Date: Thursday, 25 October
Location: Benalla Railway Station
Time: 1.30 – 3.00pm

Date: Thursday, 25 October
Location: Wangaratta Railway Station
Time: 12.30 – 4.00pm

Date: Friday, 26 October
Location: Benalla Railway Station
Time: 7.30am – 10.00am

Date: Friday, 26 October
Location: Junction Square, 34 Elgin Boulevard Wodonga
Time: 9.00am – 11.00am

Date: Friday, 26 October
Location: Wodonga Railway Station
Time: 12.00 – 2.00pm

Date: Saturday, 27 October
Location: Euroa Show
Time: 8.30 – 5.00pm

All about the work

When and where is it happening?

Early works are expected to start in early 2019 with major rail works expected to take place from mid-2019 to mid-2021.

What work is happening?

  • Install two new sets of crossovers in the long section of track between Seymour and Benalla to improve track access for work crews, minimise disruption of the works program. Crossovers also allow greater flexibility with the way trains operate when running to a schedule, helping maintain their reliability.
  • Add, replace and compact new railway ballast (the rocks around the track). This provides a stable base for train operations by improving the track’s foundation and drainage.
  • Remove mud-holes where ballast has been contaminated by other materials so it no longer drains away water properly.
  • Resurfacing including packing and compacting more ballast in-between the rail and sleepers.
  • Upgrade the track machinery (turnouts) that enable trains to be guided from one track to another, such as at a railway junction or where a spur or siding branches off.
  • Relocate overhead signal wires to underground to decrease risk of signal failures due to trees falling on wires or line wire theft.
  • Install additional backup power supplies including solar in some locations to minimise signal outages due to power supply.
  • Drainage improvements by creating and reforming trackside drainage to ensure water flows away from tracks properly.
  • Grind rail tracks to remove flaws in the rail surface and reprofile the surface of the rail so there is an even interface between the rail and wheel of the train.
  • Convert timber bridges to concrete ballasted bridges.
  • Improve transition points between ballasted track and level crossings.

Who is doing the work?

ARTC is delivering the project on behalf of the Australian and Victorian governments.

We are working closely with Victorian transport agencies including V/Line, Public Transport Victoria, Transport for Victoria and Rail Projects Victoria to deliver the project in support of the Regional Rail Revival program, which is upgrading regional passenger train lines right across Victoria.

ARTC has been working closely with experts from a range of organisations to prepare, review and validate the scope of works for the North East Line Upgrade project. To ensure upgrades improve train service reliability for passengers, ARTC has:

  • gathered feedback and data from V/Line, Public Transport Victoria, high-tech track recording machines, train drivers, passengers and the community
  • reviewed all factors that delay or disrupt V/Line trains and are targeting our works to reduce these impacts and make train services more reliable
  • initiated an independent review of the works, methodology and our delivery plan. The review has been undertaken by Monash University’s Institute of Railway Technology.

The feedback from the independent review and the works plan will be published publicly and available on this page soon.


What other work has ARTC done?

We delivered around $3M of work during a planned 60 hour annual maintenance shutdown across 17-20 March 2018 that included:

  • Re-surfacing works
  • Undercutting
  • Bridge works
  • We also invested more than $1m in ‘track tamping’ or resurfacing – which helps smooth out the track and reduced V/Line speed restrictions. Tamping took place over more than 95km of track. You can watch a video of the tamping machine in action below to see how it compacts the ballast around the sleepers below.



Suppliers and Contractors

We encourage suitably qualified, locally-based companies in North East Victoria to bid for works and supply/material packages related to this project. For relevant tenders associated with this project, please visit TenderLink:


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