Have say on north-east line project

By Benalla Ensign

Benalla’s rail travellers can have their say on the proposed $235 million upgrade to the north-east line with community consultation about to begin.

The consultation process was announced by Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael McCormack and his state counterpart Jacinta Allan last week.

Mr McCormack said the north-east line steering committee, chaired by Transport for Victoria, met this week with partners including the ARTC, V/Line, Public Transport Victoria, Rail Projects Victoria and VicTrack, with discussions continuing to be productive between all parties.

‘‘The committee is finalising the scope of works and delivery schedule, which will include an independent review of the works by Monash University, to provide further rigour and assurance that the scope will deliver on the Commonwealth’s $235 million commitment to upgrade the line to achieve Victorian Class 2 standard performance,’’ Mr McCormack said.

‘‘This will support the running of new modern trains on the line, which the Victorian Government has committed to delivering.

‘‘Community consultation on the works will begin in less than a fortnight, with the ARTC and Transport for Victoria to present at the upcoming Hume Corridor Passenger group meeting on Thursday, May 24, to provide an update on the north-east rail line project.’’

Consultation will continue for several weeks in the lead-up to the release of the delivery schedule.

Mr McCormack said community engagement was essential in the project’s delivery and said the committee was committed to hearing from community leaders and other key stakeholders to finalise the upcoming schedule of community engagement.

‘‘Separate to the north-east Victorian line upgrade, I am also pleased to advise the ARTC are investing in additional track tamping works throughout May and June to improve V/Line passenger service performance,’’ he said.

Victorian Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan welcomed the progress made by the steering committee and the cooperation with the ARTC to consider options to improve the immediate passenger experience.