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Melbourne-Adelaide rail link to be up graded



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Media Release

Joint statement with the Victorian Minister for Transport, Robin Cooper

A $23 million joint venture to upgrade the worst section of the Melboume-Adelaide rail link was announced today by the State and Federal governments.

The Victorian Government has contributed $15 million and the Federal Government $8 million to the project, which will lift 30 kph speed restrictions along the track section.

“Passenger trains will then run at 115 kph and freight trains at 100 kph,” said Mr Cooper.

“I am delighted the Victorian Government’s decision to fund the reformation and the provision of new sleepers on the Pura Pura to Maroona section of the national standard gauge track has been supported by the Federal Government, which is contributing to the rerailing of this section.”

The project includes the laying of 100,000 tonnes of ballast, the installation of 72,000 concrete sleepers and the replacement of 47 kilogram per metre track with 60kg rail in the 44km long section between Pura Pura and Maroona.

Mr Anderson said Federal funding was coming from $250 million set aside over the next four years to improve travel times, reliability and efficiency on the mainline network.

“It will enable the rail sector to compete more aggressively with road transport for interĀ­ capital freight business,” he said.

“This project will have positive spin-offs for regional development in Western Victoria, particularly around Ararat, the likely operational headquarters for the construction workforce.”

The Federal Government intends negotiating further joint venture projects with the states so that expenditure on rail track improvements during the next four years would be substantially higher than could be achieved by any one level of government.

Mr Cooper said the track construction contract had been awarded to Transfield Maintenance with work commencing before Christmas and completed this financial year.

“VicTrack will manage the project and in close cooperation with the Australian Rail Track Corporation ensure that passenger and freight trains continue to operate uninterrupted during the construction program.”

Media contacts: Mr Anderson’s office - Paul Chamberlin (02) 62777680

Minister forTransport and Regional Services

MELBOURNE-ADELAIDE RAIL LINK TO BE UPGRADED

22A 17th December 1998

Mr Cooper’s office - Amanda Scanlan (03) 96515799

Parliament House, C anberra ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6277 7680 Fax: (02) 6273 4 126