Rail Revival Alliance claims basin rail works are faulty

The Rail Revival Alliance has accused the State Government of an “attempted political cover up” over the “disastrous” and “incompetent” management of the Maryborough to Ararat standard gauge rail project.

The RRA labelled the project a “complete disaster” and in a statement released last week, claimed construction on the Ararat Maryborough rail line went over budget by $100 million and that the works have resulted in a number of defects on the line.

Among the alleged defaults, the RRA claimed that freight trains are reduced to 30 km/h when it was indicated that they could travel at between 80 and 115 km/h and that the tracks in places are not level, sleepers and welded track are not supported by ballast and there are no ballast rises to keep the ballast in place or stop it from moving around.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley questioned Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan over a number of the defects raised by the RRA and asked when the issues would be fixed during question time in the Legislative Assembly last Wednesday, but said Ms Allan was unable to provide any answers.

“Businesses rely on the Maryborough Ararat freight line to transport their products, it is an integral part of their business,” Ms Staley said.

During question time, Ms Allan said work on the Maryborough Ararat line is “continuing” to ensure the line is “fully operational”.

“This is a very important project for regional Victoria. We will deliver it,” she said last week.

A spokesperson for Ms Allan said work on stage two of the Murray Basin project, part of which included upgrading and reopening the Maryborough to Ararat line, is largely complete.

For more on this story see Front Page of The Advertiser, Tuesday, June 12

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