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VICTORIAN Premier Daniel Andrews has “re-confirmed” his promise to North-East train travellers upgraded rolling stock will be forth-coming once major track upgrades are completed.
Mr Andrews initially made the commitment on his most recent visit to the region in April before some argy bargy with the federal government ensued over the amount dedicated to track upgrades.
The federal and state governments upped the ante from $100 million to $140 million and Mr Andrews confirmed V/Line and the Australian Rail Track Corporation were in talks about the the long-awaited upgrades.
“The final detail of which will be worked through in coming weeks and months,” he said.
“But everybody in the North-East will be really pleased to see there is going to $140 million invested.
“It has been less than satisfactory for a very long time.
“I will again re-confirm for you that $140 million is there and it is a partnership.
“We are very keen to get on with this.
“We know there will be further investment required once the track is done.
“We will need to invest in some important rolling stock and it will be quite an expense.
“But we stand ready to invest that money so we can have fit for purpose track, stations and signalling all in order and the best rolling stock possible.”
The $100 million commitment from the federal government will improve ride quality between Albury and Melbourne and a further $40 million will be spent on station upgrades at Wallan and Donnybrook.
The latter investment will pave the way for standard gauge Vlocity trains between Melbourne and Seymour.
A date for the commencement of works has not been confirmed.
This article first appeared on www.bordermail.com.au
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