Rail freight between Adelaide and Melbourne could be boosted by up to 20 per cent thanks to the successful $15 million upgrade of the network.
Longer trains will now be able to run between the two Victorian cities following the extension of crossing loops at Pyrenees, Murtoa, Pimpinio, Diapur and Dimboola, and South Australia’s Mile End loop to 1,800m.
The project was funded by the Australian Government and undertaken by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Victorian state transport minister Darren Chester said: “By investing $15 million in the project, we have created a situation where the maximum length of trains operating from Adelaide to Melbourne can be increased by up to 300 metres.
“The longer, more efficient trains means less congestion for motorists and improved road safety, as well as cutting transport costs.
“The initial scope of the project was to deliver five extensions to crossing loops, which provide opportunities for trains heading in opposite directions to pass each other on single line sections of track, but thanks to clever project management, an extra passing loop at Dimboola in regional Western Victoria was also upgraded within the original project budget.
“Moving more freight by rail is crucial to meet the expected doubling of freight demand over the 20 years to 2030 while reducing urban congestion.”