Liberal Nationals to connect Gippsland communities with fast rail to Bairnsdale
Wednesday 3 October 2018
A Liberal Nationals Government will transform Victoria’s rail network, slashing travel times on the Bairnsdale line to better connect Gippslanders with more jobs, further education and healthcare.
Gippslanders will have better access to universities, TAFEs and specialist medical services with high speed rail between Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley and track upgrades so trains can run at faster speeds to Bairnsdale.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the Liberal Nationals’ European-style high speed rail will knock more than an hour and a half off the trip to Bairnsdale, from a current time of three hours and 47 minutes to 127 minutes.
“Our High Speed Rail project will get Bairnsdale line passengers where we need to be sooner and pave the way for more daily rail services,” Mr Bull said.
“We’ll cut travel times to Bairnsdale with track upgrades to increase speeds to 160km/h, introducing limited express services and building high speed rail which will travel at 200km/h between Traralgon and Melbourne.
“If elected, we’ll also buy new-generation long-haul trains for the Bairnsdale line which will be reliable, fast and comfortable, ending the plague of cancellations and replacement buses that we’ve been stuck with under Labor.”
Building European-style high speed rail will also take more cars off our roads, saving lives and cutting traffic congestion for regional freight going into Melbourne.
This $15 billion to $19 billion super-infrastructure will cut travel times on all regional rail lines and will be planned and built in three stages over the next ten years.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said high speed rail would better connect Gippslanders with services and jobs in nearby communities and in Melbourne.
“Daniel Andrews has been the Premier for Melbourne. A Liberal Nationals Government will be for all of Victoria, not just Melbourne,” Mr Walsh said.
“When we reduce travel times, we increase opportunities for people to live in one place and work in another.
“If we truly want to decentralise our state, we have to improve connectivity between our regional communities.”
The High Speed Rail project is the cornerstone of the Liberal Nationals’ plan to decentralise Victoria and includes work to establish a dedicated Gippsland line out of Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. It follows a $633 million pledge to buy new long-haul rolling stock for country Victoria, including the Bairnsdale line.