Contract Awarded for North East Rail Line Upgrade

Major works for the North East Rail Line Upgrade project are soon to commence with the announcement from the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) of the appointment of the project’s main works contractor.

Rail lines.
  • John Holland awarded main works contract for the North East Rail Line Upgrade project
  • Early works continue with main works to commence early in the new year

John Holland will deliver the multi-million dollar main works package involving ballast depth improvements along the entire rail corridor, mudhole removal and track resurfacing, drainage upgrades, and around 100 level crossing and rail bridge upgrades.

ARTC Chief Executive John Fullerton said, “This is the next key stage towards delivering the upgrade to the North East line and one step closer to improved reliability, smoother journeys and reduced causes of major delays for passenger services between Melbourne and Albury.”

“Over the previous months we have been following a rigorous competitive tender process. We are thrilled to award the contract to John Holland and are confident that their extensive experience delivering large scale rail infrastructure projects will ensure the best outcomes for the project.” Mr Fullerton said.

John Holland’s Executive General Manager – Rail Steve Butcher said the team is thrilled to bring their expertise to the project.

“As the leading multi-disciplinary rail delivery business working across Australia, John Holland’s Rail Infrastructure Services team is well equipped to deliver this important project that will reinvigorate a large part of regional Victoria.

“We understand the upgrades are a key priority for those living in north east Victoria and look forward to delivering these improvements and the benefits they will bring to the local community, businesses and economy.”

Significant early works have already been completed on the line this year including a significant scope of work during the recent 60hr works shutdown. Further targeted works are planned to help address some of the current V/Line services performance issues.

“We know that the reliability of North East line services is a real and on-going concern for passengers, and we continue to work with the Victorian transport agencies to find ways of improving the track condition ahead of the commencement of the upgrade’s main works.

“Recent works undertaken in September enabled the removal of six temporary speed restrictions (TSRs). Since then we have procured a high-speed tamper which is stabled at Benalla. A further 11 TSRs have been removed and 60 kilometres of track tamped. We plan to continue targeted resurfacing works over the coming months as well as ballasting and mudhole removal.” said Mr Fullerton.

Media contact: 24/7 Media Line: 1300 196 401

See for more details of the North East Rail Line Upgrade or to sign up for electronic project updates.

Background information:

The Australian Government has committed $235M to the North East Rail Line Upgrade which will upgrade the rail line from Melbourne (Spencer Street Junction) to Albury-Wodonga. The improvements will bring the North East line up to a Victorian Class 2 track performance standard, in line with other long-distance regional passenger rail lines in Victoria.

The project will:

  • improve passenger service reliability by upgrading track condition and addressing the main causes of delays
  • improve ride quality and comfort for travellers by reducing bumps experienced during travel
  • reduce the causes of major delays that can impact services such as signal failures due to signal wire theft.

Key features of the main works contract include:

  • Ballast depth increase
  • Mud hole removal
  • Resurfacing
  • Tamping and regulating
  • Turnout upgrades
  • Drainage improvements
  • Rail grinding
  • Replacement of existing under bridges
  • Upgrading existing ballast top bridges and converting transom bridges to ballast-top
  • Level crossing renewals

ARTC is delivering the project on behalf of the Australian and Victorian governments. We are working closely with Victorian transport agencies including V/Line, Public Transport Victoria, Transport for Victoria and Rail Projects Victoria to deliver the project in support of the Regional Rail Revival program, which is upgrading regional passenger train lines right across Victoria.

About John Holland

John Holland is up for the challenge of transforming lives.

From humble beginnings 70 years ago, John Holland has been driving positive change in Australia, and is now one of the nation’s leading integrated infrastructure and property companies.

From Parliament House to the Alice to Darwin Rail Link, from the MCG’s Great Southern Stand to Sydney Metro, we’ve had a hand in the Australia we all know today.

We are currently involved in delivering many of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, as well as significant property and urban renewal projects.

Whatever we face, the heart of our work is about creating people-centred solutions to complex challenges and opportunities.

We think deeply about what we do and how it affects communities. We push boundaries and innovate, gain trust through our actions and whatever the project, we’re in it for the long, long term.

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