A COLLABORATIVE effort between Greater Shepparton City Council, Mitchell Shire, Moira Shire and Strathbogie Shire councils is hoping to see an upgrade to the Shepparton to Melbourne rail corridor.
The councils are set to join forces to advocate for infrastructure upgrades to achieve eight VLocity services with a journey time of two hours and 10 minutes.
At Greater Shepparton City Council’s September Ordinary Council Meeting, council considered and endorsed a study into the infrastructure investments required to bring Shepparton’s passenger rail corridor to a reasonable level of service that is comparable to other regional cities.
An upgrade of the Shepparton line from Seymour to Shepparton will allow for better facilities, quicker travel times and more frequent services. Current services to make the 182km journey from Melbourne to Shepparton take between 2.2 and 2.5 hours. The Melbourne to Bendigo service of 163km can be as quick as 1.46 hours and receives over five times the number of services that the Shepparton line receives.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Dinny Adem said recent studies into the economic benefits of improved passenger rail services highlight Shepparton’s growing importance as a regional city, offering improved access to medical and education services and employment opportunities.
“We welcome the current funding commitments, which achieve the initial steps towards bringing Shepparton’s passenger rail services up to a level that is on par with other regional cities.
“We look forward to working with Mitchell, Moira and Strathbogie Shire councils to advocate for all infrastructure needed to realise full VLocity operation by 2020,” Cr Adem said.