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Rail sleeper project brought forward to support construction jobs

The Victorian Government has brought an $8.1 million rail sleeper replacement project forward to support jobs for rail track workers, suppliers and contractors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project will see 27,000 new concrete sleepers installed on the Warrnambool Line to provide more comfortable and reliable services on the rail line.

Austrak’s Avalon factory will complete the order of custom-designed, long-lifespan concrete sleepers, which will then be delivered to locations along the Warrnambool line for installation.

More than 50 V/Line staff and contractors will work at night in 10-day blocks to replace the existing timber sleepers between Colac and Waurn Ponds. It follows work already completed to replace sleepers between Warrnambool and Colac.

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Works will commence after the last train each night and will finish before the first train service in the morning to minimise disruptions. Works are expected to be complete in late 2020.

Trains will run at slower speeds than normal along sections of the line following the works, this will allow the concrete sleepers time to bed down. Four weekday Waurn Ponds services will be replaced by busses between Waurn Ponds and Geelong to minimise delays.

These works come off the back of a $16.1 million sleeper replacement program on the Bendigo line. Austrak’s Avalon factory produced more than 48,000 concrete sleepers to complete that project.

Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney said this project is not only going to benefit south-western Victorian public transport users but is supporting local business to get the job done.

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