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The Andrews Labor Government has secured the money Victoria is owed by the Federal Government and will deliver a $91 million upgrade to the Bendigo and Echuca lines.
The Commonwealth has confirmed that they will provide Victoria the almost $1.5 billion it is owed through the Asset Recycling Initiative for the Regional Rail Revival package announced as part of the Victorian Budget in May.
The $91 million package will upgrade the track between Bendigo and Echuca to enable trains on the Echuca line to run faster and more often, cutting travel times for passengers from Victoria’s north.
The upgrade will also improve signalling to allow more trains to run to Epsom and Eaglehawk, as required for the second stage of Bendigo Metro.
Last year the Labor Government added extra peak hour services for Bendigo and implemented Bendigo Metro Stage 1, adding 10 weekday services to Epsom Station, an extra evening service to Eaglehawk and more services to Kangaroo Flat during the week.
Bendigo Metro Stage 2 will see more Bendigo services extended to Epsom and Eaglehawk, giving local passengers extra services and more choice.
An additional 10 services were added earlier this year, with a further 18 services to be introduced in late August bringing the total number of services added by the Labor Government on the Bendigo line to 38.
With funding now secured, the Labor Government will get on with planning and delivering these major upgrades, which will deliver better services for passengers in Bendigo, Echuca and across regional Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“We promised to deliver these upgrades and now we’ve secured the funding – we’re getting on with the job.”
“This huge investment will upgrade track and signalling to run faster trains to Echuca and more services in and around Bendigo.”
Quote attributable to Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“It’s the next step in the dedicated train system we’re building for Bendigo and will make a real difference for local passengers, with more trains, more often to get them home sooner.”
“The Labor Government and local passengers have been fighting for these upgrades and I’m pleased that our efforts have been rewarded – now we can get on and deliver these vital upgrades.”
This article first appeared on www.premier.vic.gov.au
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