Announcements for Ararat passenger and freight rail services

Posted Wednesday 28 June, 12:04pm

Works to revitalise more than 1,000 kilometres of Victoria’s rail freight network will be underway within weeks, with the McConnell Dowell Martinus Rail joint venture announced as the successful tenderer for the project.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and Acting Victorian Minister for Public Transport Luke Donnellan announced this week the contract award for stages two, three and four of the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project, which is jointly funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.

The upgrade will standardise and upgrade the track from broad gauge to standard gauge, increase axle loading from 19 tonnes to 21 tonnes on the network, and begin the work to reopen the 87-kilometre rail line between Maryborough and Ararat.

The upgrade will allow the Murray Basin region to increase exports to Victoria’s major ports in Portland, Geelong and Melbourne.

The main project office will be established in Maryborough, with other sites located across the region, including Ararat, Ballarat, Dunolly, Ouyen and Mildura.

In a further boost to Ararat's rail network, the Federal Government announced it would fund the majority of the $1.45 billion regional passenger rail revival project. 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Monday the government would handover $1.42 billion, $555.6 million of which will be allocated to upgrades on the Ballarat line, including through to Ararat.

This news comes on the back of the 19 additional passenger services which will commence from Ararat through to Melbourne in August.