Boost set for Echuca week-day train services

By Spencer Fowler Steen

THERE'LL be more trains to choo, choo, choose from for passengers and visitors to Echuca.

It's all thanks to the announcement of an extra $300 million in funding for the Regional Rail Revival program which will include upgrading the Bendigo and Echuca train lines.

As a result, the number of week-day return services to Echuca is expected to triple.

The funding will help to deliver a modernised electronic train ordering system, the first of its kind in Victoria, enabling faster and more frequent services to Echuca.

Currently, V/Line uses a manual system to identify where trains are on the lines beyond North Bendigo Junction, which do not have signalling infrastructure.

The upgrade will introduce electronic train orders from North Bendigo Junction to Deniliquin to automate some of these manual processes, boosting capacity on the line and improving safety.

“This extra funding will get shovels in the ground faster - delivering more trains more often for Bendigo and Echuca passengers,” Victorian Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said.

“These critical upgrades will mean better services for passengers while creating jobs and providing a much-needed boost to the regional economy through and beyond the pandemic,” she said.

The new technology will potentially be used across the V/Line network to provide more services in other parts of regional Victoria in the future.

The upgrade will also include three new train stations at Goornong, Raywood and Huntly.

The additional funding from the Victorian and Federal governments brings the total investment in the state's regional rail network to more than $2 billion.