Five more level crossings on the Warrnambool Line are safer for passengers and motorists, in another step towards more frequent and reliable services for Victoria’s southwest.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan and Victorian Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today welcomed the latest milestone for the Warrnambool Line Upgrade, with nine level crossing upgrades now finished and the final three underway.
“The upgraded level crossings include boom gates, bells, lights and improved train detection technology,” Mr McCormack said.
“The project now includes the Waurn Ponds station upgrade to improve facilities for commuters and better support rail freight, allowing export products such as meat and dairy to be moved more quickly and reliably to the Port of Melbourne.
“This progress builds on the momentum achieved by our recent agreement with the Victorian Government to invest a combined additional $29.8 million towards the project, bringing the total agreed commitment to $251.8 million.
“We are continuing to roll out this type of major project nationwide under our $100 billion infrastructure investment pipeline, which is supporting jobs and communities at a time when it’s needed most.”
Local communities and passengers are now benefiting from safer level crossings at Coyles Road in Terang, Oswell’s Road in Boorcan, Buckley South Road in Buckley, Waltons Road in Buckley and Hunts Road in Moriac.
These are in addition to the upgrades completed earlier in the year at Ayreys Reserve Road in Birregurra, Swan Marsh – Stonyford Road in Swan Marsh, Deans Creek Road in Colac and Station Road in Garvoc.
Ms Allan said works were progressing well on Stage One despite modified working conditions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“More than 170 people have worked around 16,000 hours to deliver these upgrades in line with strict protocols to protect workers and the community from the spread of coronavirus,” Ms Allan said.
“It’s fantastic to see locals already enjoying the benefits of this project, and we’re looking forward to finishing the works, which will mean 12 safer level crossings for passengers and motorists.
“In addition to improved safety, this project will deliver better reliability and much-needed fifth-weekday return service on the Warrnambool line.
“These works build on the 22 level crossing upgrades completed in 2017 on the Warrnambool line as part of the Victorian Government’s Safer Country Crossings Program.”
Mr Tehan said the Warrnambool Line Upgrade formed part of the jointly-funded $2 billion Regional Rail Revival Program (RRRP), which is upgrading every passenger rail line in the state and creating more than 1,000 jobs.
“The RRRP is another example of the Australian Government investing in Victorian infrastructure to strengthen regional and local economies, create local jobs and provide work for small and medium businesses,” Mr Tehan said.
“That’s why we have committed an additional $178.2 million to the RRRP as part of our infrastructure stimulus package to get shovels in the ground on transformative road and rail projects right across Victoria to create jobs and rebuild the economy.
“I look forward to seeing construction on the rest of the Warrnambool Line Upgrade get underway shortly, including a crossing loop at Boorcan and signalling upgrades between Warrnambool and Waurn Ponds.”
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
The Australian Government is committing an additional $26.8 million and Victoria an additional $3 million toward the Warrnambool Line Upgrade, bringing total project funding to $251.8 million.
More information on the Regional Rail Revival Package is available at regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au