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Track upgrade works have started on the Bendigo-Echuca train line.
The works include sleeper replacements, level crossing renewals, ballast renewal and drainage improvements, a V/Line spokesperson said.
As on other country rail line with open level crossings, speed on the tracks was dropped in response to the derailment of a Velocity train at a level crossing in Trawalla in 2006. Two people were killed and dozens injured in the accident in which a truck collided with a train.
Top speed on the track is 75km, with two daily train services. Regional residents have been calling for capacity and service upgrades, with a one-way 92 km train trip taking 80 minutes .
In September last year the former Coalition government pledged to invest more than $1million in upgrades to the line during 2015-16. It estimated 20,000 passengers used the train service annually. Since the change of government the Coalition has lobbied the State Government to confirm an upgrade of rail services between Echuca and Bendigo. The work was to include upgrades to eight bridges along the line.
The upgrade is scheduled to August 20.
This article first appeared on www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au
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