The reason why VLine would not entertain an application to run trains would be the lack of funding to address the residual infrastructure issues. As the wise man said "money doesn't grow on trees". VLine's funding arrangements are controlled by the state. There is virtually no money in the current and next years capital or maintenance budget for freight only lines. As they deteriorate to the point of untrafficability they are "booked out". This is the situation with Toolamba - Echuca.
The current works are a specific government funding package for this line only and is directly related to the need to close Seymour - Toolamba for serious embankment repairs. It seems pressure on government has produced this one off funding so that PN can continue to run trains to Tocumwal. The line speed will be 20 kph. There is a further bid for funding to bring the line up to a reasonable standard whereby it can sustain regular heavy trains such as the much talked about Deniliquin traffic. It is unknown as to the status of the additional funds. This current round is in the order of a bit over half a million whilst the full wocks are believed to be somewhere around seven million.
Of interest is the embankment works which are immediately on the up end of the Goulburn River Bridge at Toolamba. The embankment is slowly collapsing with material oozing out sideways at ground level. I have not seen the site but am told it relates to the additional embankment built when the river bridge was rebuilt around the late 50s or early 60s. It is likely that the additional material was just dumped along side the existing bank without any attempt to fully compact and key the two together. Water is possibly entering the formation at the top into the join between the two sections, flowing down the joint and out at the base on the original ground level. The current problems being experienced by the Glostershire Warrackshire Steam Railway near Cheltenham in the UK which are well described and illustrated on their web page show the type of issue.