Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says the $313 million committed to the Shepparton train line in this year’s Victorian State Budget is game-changer for the region.
The 2018/19 Budget, handed down on Tuesday, is set to enable nine VLocity return services to run between Shepparton and Melbourne each day by 2021 and shave 20 minutes off the travel time.
With $43.5m of works on stabling and a passing loop to allow a fifth service to begin by the end of the year already underway, it brings the total investment in the Shepparton train line to $356.5 million in the past two years.
Ms Sheed said the announcement was a record windfall for the region’s rail infrastructure and would change the face of Shepparton District.
“To see $313 million for the Shepparton Train Line in this year’s Budget is just astounding,” Ms Sheed said.
“Our community has been calling for a better, faster and more frequent train service for so long and we have now been heard.
“This truly is a momentous turning point for the region and will open up so many opportunities – for increased business investment, for better access to health and education and a bigger slice of Victoria’s tourism pie, just to name a few.”
Ms Sheed said the money would fund track and signalling works on the line between Shepparton and Seymour, including upgrades to 54 level crossings, platform extensions at four key stations and further stabling for the additional trains.
“This is a huge project and there is so much work to do to ensure the modern VLocity trains can run on the line at speeds up to 130km/h,” Ms Sheed said.
“This second package of works is also expected to pave the way for a feasibility study into a third stage of line upgrades, so there’s hopefully much more good news to come.”
“So much community effort has gone into achieving this incredible win for our region and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the Government delivers these outcomes as soon as possible.”
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