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AN alliance of Victorian councils is agitating for state government action on the state’s rail freight network.
The Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development has called on the government to plan now for standardisation of the broad gauge freight network over the next 15 years.
Alliance acting chair Councillor Geoff White said that his group of councils also wanted to see an upgrade of all level crossings and speed restrictions removed on the Mildura freight line within a period of six years.
He said an accelerated program to overcome temporary speed restrictions on the Mildura line would cost $6 million per year for the next decade.
The Alliance believes the annual allocation in the state budget for maintenance of the regional rail freight network should be twice the $7.5 million that is currently allocated.
In a submission responding to the Victorian government’s Grain and Logistics Taskforce report, the alliance urged the government to construct or re-construct crossing loops at Meredith and Tourello.
It argued that the current situation of loaded trains being held as far back as Maryborough resulted in poor grain train cycle times and ineffective use of rolling stock and infrastructure.
This article first appeared on www.sunraysiadaily.com.au
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