Building a better Murray Basin network

The Australian and Victorian Governments are getting on with works to improve the Murray Basin Rail network, with major sleeper replacement works now underway on a critical grain line in Victoria’s north-west.

The 141-kilometre track services two major Victorian grain terminals, and work has now started to keep rail freight moving efficiently for generations to come.

Works will improve safety and reliability along the line, with four level-crossing renewals and maintenance on more than 3,000 joints. Almost 70,000 new sleepers are currently being installed between Korong Vale and Sea Lake. 

The Victorian Government undertook a review of the original Murray Basin Rail Project business case, prepared in 2015, backed by industry engagement from farmers and freight operators who wanted to see works commence as soon as possible.

The project will move more freight onto rail as the state’s primary production output grows, making it easier for Victorian farmers to get their products to market.

Work will continue over the coming months to remove bottlenecks and improve the network’s efficiency, replacing 23,000 sleepers between Inglewood and Korong Vale and nearly 28,000 new sleepers between Dunolly and Inglewood.

Passing loops will be added, signalling will be upgraded, and train sidings and refuelling facilities will be improved.

The additional investment by the Australian Government brings the total commitment to the Murray Basin network to more than $440 million since 2016. More than $800 million has been jointly invested in the network as a whole. 

The further works on the Murray Basin Freight Rail project is expected to support 1,000 direct and indirect jobs at a time when Victorian communities need them most.