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Federal Government tackles rail track 'corrugations'

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Media Release


John Anderson

Minister for Transport and Regional Services




A48/99 16th April 1999


The Federal Government will spend $10.5 million straightening and grinding the entire 850 km interst ate rail track in Victoria, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, announced today in Victoria.


This major improvement is part of the Federal Government’s $250 million Interstate Rail Infrastructure Investment Fund.


Mr Anderson likened the process of straightening and grinding to removing corrugation in a road. It is an essential capital cost that will extend the useful life of the track by 20 per cent and enable faster, more efficient train movements.


“This is a highly effective investment,” he said. “It will provide a smoother ride, lift axle load capacity and allow faster transit times.”


Mr Anderson said the Victorian rail track was below the ATC agreed standards, impacting on service delivery. Since the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) assumed control of the track in July last year, the length of track subject to speed restrictions has fallen from 27 per cent to 22 per cent and continues to fall.


“Without the Commonwealth’s financial intervention, additional speed and load restrictions would have applied on the track, further restraining the ability of rail to achieve its potential.”


The straightening and grinding technique will assist in raising the performance of the

Victorian mainline rail track to the five-year goals set by the Australian Transport Council (ATC) in 1997, namely:


·  less than two per cent of track subject to temporary speed restriction;


·  a maximum speed of 115 kph and average speed of 80 kph, at axle loads up to 21 tonnes;


·  a maximum speed of 80 kph and average speed of 60 kph, at axle loads between 21 tonnes and 25 tonnes.


Contracts will be let soon and take 30 months to complete. The project will be managed by the ARTC, the lessee of Victoria’s interstate rail track.


The $10.5 million invest ment announced today is in addition to $8 million the Commonwealth has pledged already for upgrading the interstate track between Pura Pura and Maroona in Western Victoria.


The Commonwealth is investing further funds in extending crossing loops throughout the interstate rail network. The loops allow trains to pass on a single line.


Media contact:  Paul Chamberlin 02 6277 7680 / 0419 233 989