Trackworks underway on Ararat line

V/Line's $8.6 million worth of trackworks on the Ararat line will benefit Beaufort and Ararat travellers, V/Line connecting coach patrons to and from Stawell, Horsham, Dimboola, Nhill and Halls Gap, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said.

"The Victorian Coalition Government continues to heavily invest in Victoria's rural rail network," Mr Mulder said.

Mr Mulder said that V/Line was installing 13,600 new concrete sleepers and 22,400 new timber sleepers on the 90 kilometre line.

"The project also includes $1.5 million in renewal works at 14 level crossings to improve the rail line and road condition," he said.

"I would like to thank the 52 V/Line staff and contractors who have worked on autumn and winter nights between 8pm and 6am to rehabilitate the Ararat line."

The Ararat line's upgrade commenced on May 24 and will be complete by mid-July. Up to 1,200 sleepers a night have been installed.

Liberal Candidate for Ripon Louise Staley welcomed the works.

"The Napthine Coalition Government continues to heavily invest in Victoria's rural rail network," Ms Staley said.

"The Ararat line's rehabilitation will ensure it carries the 19 weekly V/Line trains."

Nationals Candidate for Ripon Scott Turner said that the Ararat trains provided a vital link for much of Western Victoria.

"The Coalition Government is committed to investing in the rail line given Ararat's employment growth," Mr Turner said.

The concrete sleepers are being installed on curves to improve track stability and reduce the need for temporary speed restrictions that have slowed VLocity railcars down to 80 or 90km/h instead of the normal 130km/h.

V/Line's track gang has also removed fouled ballast and repaired mud holes affecting 1.5 kilometres of track, while 16 bridges and culverts are having new concrete sleepers installed.

The works program includes clearing vegetation from drains to improve drainage alongside the line.

"We have already reopened the Dimboola to Rainbow line for grain trains, while the Regional Rail Link project for Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough passengers is ahead of schedule and well below budget," Mr Mulder said.

At a glance, the upgrade involves: 22,400 timber sleepers, 12,600 concrete sleepers on curves, 1,000 concrete sleepers on bridges, 9,000 tonnes of ballast, 14 level crossings renewed (10 gravel and four sealed crossings) and 16 bridges upgraded to concrete sleepers.

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