Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Passengers in the state’s east are another step closer to travelling on more modern and reliable trains, with a VLocity test train to complete a journey to Bairnsdale for the first time ever on Wednesday 25 April.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing has welcomed the start of VLocity test runs to Bairnsdale, ahead of the fleet’s permanent deployment to the line later this year.

Work is also continuing to upgrade level crossings along the line, another essential part of bringing VLocity trains to Bairnsdale. Level crossing upgrades are being delivered as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade.

V/Line crews are digging trenches and have commenced boring at three locations on the line and level crossing signalling equipment is being assembled by technicians.

At least seven level crossings between Sale and Bairnsdale will also be upgraded from passive to active to include flashing lights, bells and boom gates.

V/Line is consulting with local communities about the level crossing upgrades, including emergency services, councils and residents along the rail line.

The Labor Government is replacing locomotive-hauled trains on the Bairnsdale line with Victorian-built VLocity trains in August this year.

Two of the three daily return Bairnsdale services will operate with the more modern rolling stock, providing improved comfort for passengers.

The first morning train from Bairnsdale and the last evening train from Melbourne to Bairnsdale will continue to be operated by classic fleet trains for the time being
Geotechnical drilling to test rock and soil as part of the Gippsland Line Upgrade is also continuing in preparation for major work, including the Avon River Bridge replacement. Around six boreholes have been dug near the bridge, with the work scheduled to move to other sections of the line over the coming months.

The $530 million Gippsland Line Upgrade will transform the line to deliver more frequent and more reliable services for locals and visitors.

It includes duplicating several sections of track along the line, constructing second platforms at various stations, signalling upgrades a between Traralgon and Pakenham and relocating train stabling facilities at Traralgon.

More information about the Gippsland line Upgrade is available at regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Travellers in East Gippsland will benefit significantly from these much-needed track and structural improvements, and VLocity services to Bairnsdale are a big part of improving the reliability and comfort of the service.”

“We’re also completing critical work in the lead up to deploying VLocity trains to Bairnsdale, including testing rolling stock on the line and getting on with level crossing upgrades.”

“To deliver the reliable, safe and modern service that the Gippsland line has needed for so long, we are investing in track upgrades and duplication, bridges and river crossings, stations and parking improvements – and we’re also doing everything we can to minimise the disruption.