Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Trains running through Kyabram again

Kyabram and district residents warned to look out for freight trains.

January 1, 2014 4:32am

Motorists are being warned to be vigilant around rail way crossings now that trains are again running on the Toolamba to Echuca line.

Local residents and road users need to take care at level crossings as freight trains are back running through Kyabram and district this week.

The first indication was the sound of the train being heard about 9.30am on Monday.

The 67km Echuca-Toolamba rail line was re-opened on October 3, to much fanfare, following completion of a $7.2million upgrade that included replacing more than 30000 sleepers.

However, the freight trains transporting rice between Deniliquin and Port of Melbourne stopped using the line again just 10 days later.

On its re-opening, the allowed speed on the line was temporarily reduced to 30km/h, due to some additional signage and line of sight work being required at level crossings.

The speed limit was restored, to the 50km/h originally intended, on November 1 but the trains did not return and instead continued to run via Bendigo on a line where freight and passenger trains have to share access.

With maintenance work taking place on the Bendigo line, trains are likely to be running through the district for at least the next few weeks.

Victorian Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder attended the line’s official re-opening ceremony in October and yesterday provided an update on its status.

‘‘QUBE Logistics’ Deniliquin to the Port of Melbourne SunRice export rice trains recommenced operating via Toolamba on December 30,’’ he said.

‘‘Residents will see this freight train travel through towns such as Tatura, Merrigum, Kyabram and Tongala in both the morning and evening.’’

Mr Mulder said it was important to remember freight train operations could run to altered timetables without any public notice.

‘‘Special trains can operate at any time of night or day,’’ he said.

‘‘Motorists should always slow down when approaching any of the level crossings on the Echuca-Kyabram-Toolamba line and be prepared to stop.’’

A V/Line spokesperson said the schedule for the next few weeks showed the freight train going through the district each morning and returning in the evening, but stressed schedules could change and trains can come any time of day or night, so vigilance at level crossings at all times was vital.

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