It is a major artery for grain heading into the Port of Melbourne, and the Victorian Government said more upgrades are to follow for the state’s freight network.
The upgrades include an increase in the depth of crushed rock supporting the tracks, and assessment and upgrading of culverts and bridges on high-use corridors.
Across Victoria and southern New South Wales, 1 million tonnes of grain was moved to port from 29 active grain sites, including Tocumwal, by more than 530 bulk grain trains on the V/Line freight rail network from July 2021 to April this year.
A typical 650-metre long loaded train carries more than $1.3M worth of grain and is equivalent to 50 loaded semi-trailers.
The increase from 19 to 20 TAL means suitable grain trains can carry an additional 160t of grain, which is the equivalent of around 3.5 B-double truckloads of extra grain in each train.
Pacific National (PN) is the largest hauler of grain and agricultural products, regional exports, and bulk goods on the eastern seaboard.
Its CEO and managing director Paul Scurrah said PN has hauled more than 200,000t of grain on the Tocumwal-Shepparton line over the past 12 months, equivalent to 3700 truckloads.
“The Shepparton-Tocumwal rail line is a vital link in Victoria’s supply chain and investment to boost capacity.
“It ensures Pacific National can continue to move large grain volumes by trains to the Port of Melbourne.
“Hauling more bulk grain by trains means fewer trucks on country roads, improving safety and reducing emissions in regional transport networks.”
The Victorian Budget 2022-23 provides a further $181M for critical maintenance works on the regional rail-freight network.
In addition, a further $3.5 million has been funded to extend the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS).
The MSIS supports more than 170 freight industry jobs at intermodal terminals in regional Victoria and removes the equivalent of 28,000 truck trips from our roads every year.
Source: Victorian Government