Driver training on the 87km railway line from Maryborough to Ararat has been launched following the line’s re-opening in Victoria, Australia.
Work to re-open the line, which closed in the early 2000s, is part of the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project, which will see more than 1,000km of the Murray Basin region’s rail freight network either standardised or upgraded.
The Australian Government has committed $240.2 million and the Victorian Government $199.8 million to fund the project.
Deputy prime minister and transport minister Barnaby Joyce said: “Victoria’s Murray Basin is a nationally important producer and exporter of grain, mineral sands, fruit, vegetables and wine.
“The Murray Basin Rail Project is an investment in these industries, the competitiveness of our port and freight operators, and Australia’s economy.”
A phased return of freight services to the Mildura line is also underway, with sections of the track progressively opening from south to north.