A domestic grain train travels through St Arnaud

Murray Basin Rail Project

About the project

The Murray Basin Rail Project will deliver important upgrades to Victoria's rail freight network to meet the increasing demand for freight services.

The Murray Basin Rail Project involves standardising and increasing the axle loading of the rail freight lines in Victoria's Murray Basin region.

Delivering these efficiency improvements will support the freight industry in the Murray Basin region to deliver growing export volumes to Victoria's ports as cost competitively as possible.

What's happening

The Victorian Government has committed up to $220 million to deliver the $416 million project, partnering with the Commonwealth Government to deliver the nationally significant project.

Stage one works have commenced and involve a package of essential maintenance works of the Mildura freight line, between Yelta and Maryborough with a planned completion date in mid 2016.

This includes:

  • $30 million for maintenance works on the Mildura freight line between Yelta and Maryborough, including the replacement of 3,400 metres of rail and nearly 130,000 sleepers. This is due for completion in mid 2016.
  • $5 million to plan and design the second stage of the project which will standardise the Murray Basin rail network and increase axle loading to 21 tonnes. Additionally $16.5 million is being used to procure 125,000 concrete sleepers from local Geelong manufacturer Austrak supporting more than 20 jobs at their Port Wilson facility.

As part of this work, PTV and V/Line have inspected bridges, drainage and level crossings on the currently unused rail line between Ararat and Maryborough in preparation of works to ocfcur in the future as part of Stage 2 of the project.

PTV has also commenced discussions with local government, farmers and industries in Victoria’s north west, to ensure planning is coordinated so producers can continue to get product to market during construction.

In August 2015 the business case for the project was released and a commitment was made to deliver all 4 stages of work to standardise all rail freight lines servicing the Murray Basin region.

In October 2015 critical maintenance works, including 28,000 new sleepers across 70 kilometres of rail line between Ouyen and Carwarp in Victoria's north west were completed.

In March 2016, work commenced to laying a further 100,000 sleepers between Maryborough and Mildura which will improve safety and reliability of the main freight line straight away, and pave the way for the next phase of this critical project – the upgrade and standardisation of the entire Murray Basin freight network.

The next stage of work will commence in the second half of 2016.

Related information

Project documentation

Download the Murray Basin Rail Project Summary brochure (PDF) 524kB

Download the accessible version of the Murray Basin Rail Project brochure (DOC) 2.39 MB

Download the Murray Basin Rail Project Business Case (PDF) 17MB

Download the Murray Basin Rail Project Business Case - accessible version (DOC) 21MB

Media releases

Click on the links below to view media releases relating to the Murray Basin Rail Project

Further information

For more information, please call Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 daily.

You can also contact the project team by completing an online enquiry form.