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A SERIES of Wimmera rail crossing loops extensions will allow longer trains to travel between Melbourne and Adelaide.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation has completed a project to extend loops at Murtoa, Dimboola, Pimpinio and Diapur to 1800 metres.
The upgrades – part of a $15-million federal government project – will increase freight capacity by up to 20 per cent.
The corporation used 60,000 tonnes of quarry product across the four Wimmera sites and at the Pyrenees and Mile End loops.
The latter loop is in South Australia.
The group also installed 37 new LED signals.
Member for Mallee Andrew Broad said the maximum length of trains on the Adelaide-Melbourne line would increase by 300 metres.
He said this was not only more efficient for freight movement, but would help alleviate congestion for motorists and cut transport costs.
“A 1800-metre train carries the equivalent of more than 85 B-Doubles of freight, and normally that freight would travel by road,” he said.
“Now we can have it away from other road users.”
Mr Broad said an extra passing loop was installed at Dimboola, meaning there were more opportunities for trains heading in opposite directions to pass each other.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said moving more freight by rail was crucial to reduce urban congestion and to meet freight demand, which the government expects to double by 2030.
This article first appeared on www.mailtimes.com.au
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