Via The Welcome Record -
Central Goldfields Shire Council has applauded the State Government’s decision to upgrade the Murray Basin rail network. The $416 million project will see the standardisation of approximately 1133 kilometres of rail lines, including the track that links Maryborough and Ararat.
The upgrade and subsequent reopening of this line means Council now has a stronger case to petition for passenger rail services through Maryborough.
“This is great news for Maryborough,” said Central Goldfields Shire Mayor Wendy McIvor.
“It is something we have been campaigning for, but weren’t sure would be adopted. Once the tracks are upgraded, and the freight system is in full swing, we will be in a much better position to campaign for more passenger rail services – an issue Council is most passionate about. We want to secure better transport options for our residents and our visitors. This upgrade also solidifies our current passenger rail services, and it’s nice to have that kind of security,”
Cr McIvor said.
Council’s General Manager Technical Services David Sutcliffe also lauded the importance of this announcement.
“It puts Maryborough and Dunolly back where they once were - at the crossroads of the rail freight network for much of northwest Victoria. It is believed Maryborough’s position in the rail freight network is what led to us having such a magnificent station, and it’s fantastic that we once again have the opportunity to play an important role. Environmental and safety issues also come into account with this announcement. Rail use helps reduce the carbon footprint, and reduces the need for road freight. Drivers will be safer with less oversized trucks on our country roads,”
Mr Sutcliffe said.
The project is expected to create 270 jobs, and will be completed by 2018.