The Victorian Government has selected VicConnect consortium as preferred contractor for the Gippsland Line upgrade major package of works between Pakenham and Traralgon.
VicConnect consortium is formed by UGL Limited, Decmil and Arup. The contractor will undertake early works on the project in the coming months, including site investigations, procurement, engineering and design.
The contract covers track duplication between Bunyip and Longwarry, the extension of Morwell crossing loop, level crossing upgrades, signalling, the reactivation of the second platform at Traralgon. The project also involves the construction of the second platforms and station amenity works at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell and Traralgon stations. The Gippsland Line upgrade also involved the construction of a new rail bridge over the Avon River in Stratford, which is now three months ahead of schedule, allowing trains to travel at up to 90 km/h. Prior works, the trains should slow down to 10 km/h on the bridge due to infrastructure problems.
The project also includes upgrades to drainage structures at Morwell River, and a Victorian-first trial of solar-powered wireless level crossing detection technology at Farrells Lane in Stratford. The new wireless technology has the potential to reduce the costs and environmental impacts of upgrading level crossings and could have positive outcomes on future rail projects across the state.
The Gippsland Line upgrade project will enable much needed extra off-peak services as track duplication, a crossing loop extension and second platforms at stations will provide more opportunities for trains to pass each other.
Improvements to accessibility and amenities at these stations will also be made to give passengers better journeys while train detection upgrades at level crossings along the line will improve safety for motorists and train passengers.
The project has a total value of AUD 530 million (USD 400.7 million) and is part of the Regional Rail Revival (RRR) programme for which the government secured AUD 1.42 billion (USD 1 billion) from the Commonwealth for the AUD 1.6 billion (USD 1.2 billion) RRR package to modernise Victoria’s regional passenger rail network.