Public Transport Victoria forum hears call for more Maryborough train services
State Government Commits to Developing Rail Infrastructure for Victoria
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Opposition Leader Matthew Guy backs Melbourne Airport rail link
Jail time for train threats to Vline Staff
Premier Daniel Andrews hears efforts to address Central Goldfields disadvantage, push for more Maryborough trains
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North-West Rail Alliance urges more council support amid push for return of Mildura passenger rail
Grampians Rail Trail: Shire calls for community to step up and manage facility
We are going to spend nigh on $440 million to gauge convert and "UPGRADE!!!" about 1200 km of railway for around the cost of 1 freeway interchange. In 2011 the cost to upgrade the Calder Highway/Tullamarine Freeway Interchange in 1 location was $385 million so we must be eternally grateful for the scraps being thrown at the Murray Basin and then expect it to perform for decades thereafter.
For around 50% more we could we could have virtually got the principal trunk route the Mildura Line to something approaching the standard that the Maryborough to Ararat section is virtually rebuilt to and then been able to extract a host of benefits that would be much more long lasting than what we are doing now for essentially an 8 tonne per wagon load improvement.
Here is a partial extract of a highly experienced (40 plus years and still working), railway engineer's inspection undertaken this week:
• “My estimate is that, in the areas we looked at closely, around 500 sleepers per km are being replaced during the gauge conversion process. Some of the new sleepers are of questionable quality, exhibiting split ends which suggest a fairly short life. “
• Rebuilding of that line (Maryborough to Ararat) is a separate story, but suffice to say it too has been completely dismantled (there wasn’t much useful left apart from the rails), the formation is being graded and consolidated using the old ballast as a capping layer and an excellent new track is being laid with 100% concrete sleepers with the original 41kg/m rail also welded to CWR. So far about 25km of new skeleton track has been laid ready for initial ballasting and tamping. (Apart from the lighter rail, it will end up a far better track than the Melbourne-Albury line.)
This project is a shining example of how a government strives to create the appearance they are supporting rail upgrades in Victoria only to provide insufficient funds, project scope and under-investment in Victoria's infrastructure future. Thanks Daniel Andrews.
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