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Ten level crossings in Bendigo and Eaglehawk are set for upgrades following a $300 million funding boost to the Regional Rail Revival project
Part of the funding from the state and federal governments will go to the Bendigo-Echuca upgrade and help deliver a modernised electronic train ordering system - the first of its kind in Victoria.
Funding will also ensure 10 level crossings between Eaglehawk and Bendigo are upgraded to include better train detection technology and higher safety.
The level crossing set to be upgraded are at Williamson Street, Bundy Street, Nolan Street, Midland Highway (Napier Street), Weeroona Avenue, Thunder Street (Finn Street), Prouses Road, Holdsworth Road, Nelson Street and Victoria Street.
Transport infrastructure minister Jacinta Allan said this funding will get shovels in the ground faster.
"(It will deliver) more trains more often for Bendigo and Echuca passengers," she said.
"These critical upgrades will mean better services for passengers while creating jobs and providing a much- needed boost to the regional economy through and beyond the pandemic."
The new system will be able to help provide faster and more frequent services to Echuca and extra services for Epsom, Eaglehawk and Bendigo. Echuca's week-day return services are expected to triple under the new train-ordering system.
The Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade also includes three news stations at Goornong, Raywood and Huntly as part of a $49.6 million Victorian Government investment in Bendigo Metro 3.
Rail Projects Victoria hopes to integrate the upgrades with the new stations at Goornong, Huntly and Raywood to maximise benefits and minimise impacts during construction.
The delivery timelines will be communicated to passengers and the community in the coming months.
Goornong resident Felicity Johnson said a new station in the town would be a tremendous boost.
"As someone with teenage boys, being able to get into Bendigo (is important) whether its for work or socialisng," she said. "They're pretty much stuck here and I have to drive in twice a day sometimes.
"(A new station) would benefit all age groups in Goornong, from the elderly down to the kids. It's so badly needed.
"We might even go the other way and support Elmore and Echuca. There's not a lot in Goornong for kids to do apart form the pool."
Ms Johnson said Goornong was slowly growing.
"There's quite a lot of new houseblocks going up the (Elmore) end of town," she said. "Lots of people are coming in.
"(Goornong) is a lovely town with lovely people but there's not a lot here. If we try to get more people in, more will go to the school and we might see shops reopen or the petrol station, who knows?"
This article first appeared on www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au
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