Passengers in Greater Bendigo are set to benefit from more frequent services, new stations and faster journeys with contractors appointed to deliver the major components of the Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade.
Work is underway to introduce a new electronic train order (ETO) system on the regional network for the first time.
V/Line, in conjunction with rail specialists Wabtec, will deliver the modernised system from Bendigo to Swan Hill and Echuca, which will enable additional weekday return services to Epsom and Eaglehawk, and triple the number of weekday services to and from Echuca.
The additional services will be introduced after the new system is completed in late 2022.
The new train order system will modernise the train control system currently in use to ensure services can safely run more often.
It will also serve as a pilot program for potential rollout across other parts of Victoria’s regional rail network, allowing more services in the future and particularly benefitting long-distance services.
Work on the new stations as part of the Victorian Government-funded Bendigo Metro 3 is also underway, with VicTrack appointing Symal Infrastructure to deliver the new stations at Goornong, Huntly and Raywood, with Goornong on track to be completed this year.
The contractor has already commenced site investigations in Goornong and will ramp up works in the coming months, with construction to take place alongside V/Line-delivered track upgrades which will increase the speed of trains between Epsom and Goornong.
The delivery of Huntly Station will follow in mid-2022, fast-tracked by nearly a year, with a new Raywood Station to be completed by late next year.
Each new station will include a single platform and car parking as well as lighting, seating and shelter.
The Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade is part of the $4 billion Regional Rail Revival program, which is upgrading every regional passenger rail line in Victoria and creating 3,000 jobs and local supplier opportunities.