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Commonwealth funding for improvements to interstate railway between Melbourne and Adelaide.

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Media Release

John Anderson

Deputy Prime Minister and

Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Leader of the National Party


8th December 1999



Commonwealth Funding for Improvements to Interstate Railway

Between Melbourne and Adelaide


The F ederal Government will provide $10.5 million towards a program of works to improve the operation of trains between Melbourne and the South Australian border, the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.


The Australian Rail Track Corporation, the Commonwealth-owned body which manages the interstate track in Australia, will put $2.4 million of its own money into the track upgrading.


“Thanks to this and other Commonwealth funded projects, the fastest freight trains between Melbourne and Adelaide will take two hours off their 1997 timetables by the early next year, with a further hour to come off by mid-2002,” Mr Anderson said.


“It will also mean more reliable arrival times.”


Mr Anderson said the latest round of funding was in addition to the $8 million approved previously to meet the cost of inserting concrete sleepers between Maroona and Pura Pura in western Victoria and the $10.5 million for track straightening and grinding.


“The current work involves a number of activities such as track strengthening, bridge works, track realignment and the installation of resilient fasteners. On its own, it will reduce train times between Melbourne and Adelaide a further 40 minutes.”


The Minister said the improvements were critical to the revival of interstate rail under a Coalition Government.


“Freight forwarders want faster, more reliable trains and this is what we are giving them,” Mr Anderson said.


‘The latest funding is coming from a $250 million pr ogram of Commonwealth-funded works that will improve the operating performance of interstate rail operations throughout Australia.


“One objective is to reduce the gap between road and rail so that they can compete on the east-west transport corridor for the freight that best serves each mode. Trains will be able to run at 115 kph on the Melbourne-Adelaide mainline without restriction.”


In a boost to Australian industry, Mr Anderson said the system of resilient fasteners to be used was the Australian Rex-Lok fastening system.


“Rex-Lok won in an international tender”, Mr Anderson said. “The new fasteners will hold the track in place better than dog spikes, a technology which dates from last century”.



Media contact:

Paul Chamberlin (02) 6277 7680 or 0419 233989




md 1999-12-09  10:39