Monday, November 20, 2017

Rail alliance formed for improved passenger rail

David Lee November 8, 2017

THE next step towards achieving eight VLocity services for Shepparton with a journey time of two hours and 10 minutes along the Shepparton to Melbourne corridor is the aim of a newly formed alliance between Greater Shepparton City Council, Moira, Mitchell and Strathbogie Shire councils.

Infrastructure Victoria has announced that the Shepparton rail line will accommodate VLocity trains and more trains by 2020 following a commitment from the Victorian Government to revive Victoria’s regional rail network.

This includes a commitment of $10M towards improving the Shepparton line for passenger and freight rail through Commonwealth Government funding.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Dinny Adem welcomed the commitment.

“I look forward to collaborating with the partnering councils to achieve the envisaged improvements for the rail corridor, which will see social and economic benefits for the wider Goulburn Valley region,” Mayor Adem said.

“We thank Infrastructure Victoria for recognising the importance of the Shepparton line and committing to VLocity trains and more trains by 2020 but unfortunately, there is still no budget allocated for additional works required to actually run VLocity trains or achieve adequate journey times, such as level crossings, and track and signalling upgrades. We’re hoping to see a significant funding allocation to this project in the 2018/19 State Budget.

“While council eagerly awaits further announcements on budget provision to achieve these commitments, via our partnership we will continue to lobby for the services that the Shepparton line desperately needs.

“The alliance with Mitchell, Moira and Strathbogie Shire councils will improve our advocacy platform for infrastructure upgrades to bring improved services, resulting in wider social and economic benefits to all collaborating councils.

“The recent interest in rail improvements is long overdue for Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley region,” Mayor Adem said.