Coalition commits to standardising Victorian rail network

 

News article: Coalition commits to standardising Victorian rail network

The Victorian Government says a business case into standardising the freight network from Mildura to Geelong will be completed by the end of the year.

  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
The Victorian Government says a business case into standardising the freight network from Mildura to Geelong will be completed by the end of the year.

The Murray Basin Rail Project will convert existing broad gauge tracks to a standard gauge, bringing rail networks in Victoria's west into line with key freight networks across the country.

Construction on the project is expected to be completed by 2018; $41 million dollars in rail maintenance will be spent in the project's first stage for ageing tracks from Mildura to Maryborough and from Hopetoun to Murtoa.
Coalition commits to standardising Victorian rail network


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The Victorian Government says the plan to standardise Mildura's rail network opens the way for the return of the passenger train, although there is no formal committment on their part to do this.

But Mr Crisp says the standard gauge has always been a pre-requisite to getting a passenger train to return to the region.

"A sustainable passenger train service for Mildura is one that is on a successful freight line, and a successful freight line is a standardised line," he says.

"So, by doing this we are making sure that we keep passenger [rail] open as an option for the future of Mildura."

On what basis does Peter Crisp contend that a standard gauge line is a pre-requisite for a passenger train?  Once upon a time we had a previous Transport Minister (Peter Batchelor) suggest that it was not possible to run passenger services on standard gauge.  Whilst I don't agree with this latter proposition, I would have thought converting the Mildura line to standard gauge would have made the reintroduction of a passenger service more difficult.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

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On what basis does Peter Crisp contend that a standard gauge line is a pre-requisite for a passenger train? Once upon a time we had a previous Transport Minister (Peter Batchelor) suggest that it was not possible to run passenger services on standard gauge. Whilst I don't agree with this latter proposition, I would have thought converting the Mildura line to standard gauge would have made the reintroduction of a passenger service more difficult.
Rossco T

Is it a case of wording that
- We have committed to running a pax train to NW
- But the infrastructure is substandard for a train to achieve this run in a reasonable time frame that doesn't involve an overnight train
- It needs upgrading, the upgrade will happen as part of the conversion to SG, not prior
- Also what is the point of getting a train running on BG (even if upgraded), only to be again cancelled within a few months while the rails are re positioned and suffer political fall out due to potential delays in this project (read NE SG)

I higher standard of track and hence speed should enable the train to maybe run a longer route into Melbourne but in a shorter time than previously experienced on the old Vinelander and hence delete the need for an O/N train which we all know the govt has no interest what so ever in buying.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The only people who are not set to benefit from the conversion of the Victorian network to SG are pacific national.

They have run the BG business into the ground and customers will finally have a choice of a new quality operator and it is unlikely to be pacific national.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Is the station in the news story graphic Mildura?  I think I've caught a bus from there once.

For my 2 cents it's fairly obvious that the initial upgrade is only about freight and preventing those terrible derailments we've seen in the last few years.  It's a good thing but I wouldn't hold my breath for either standard gauge OR passenger services any time soon.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Premier Napthine was on regional radio this afternoon and stated it would be standardised,core or non core, take your pick.

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