Eight new maintenance staff, responsible for looking after the rail track from Somerton to Benalla, started work at the Seymour depot on January 1.
Three signal technicians, including an apprentice, are also now based at Seymour to support rail operations.
Many of the new staff have transferred over from previous alliance partners Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton said.
‘‘These staff bring with them their extensive knowledge and experience of the local network, conditions and needs of the track,’’ he said.
‘‘We are reaching the end of a significant amount of investment into the interstate rail network.
Seymour is one of 11 new regional rail work centres across the country responsible for the care and maintenance of the standard gauge rail network in their respective areas. Previously, maintenance was delivered on a contract basis by alliance partners.
‘‘This month we welcome more than 200 new staff to the organisation to help build on our current connection with rural Australia through our regional work centres — local centres of expertise with skilled and experienced rail maintenance staff.’’
‘‘In-sourcing maintenance is an exciting period of change for us, and the decision establishes a much more consistent approach to maintenance.
‘‘Rail is intrinsically tied to this country’s history and the land, and it’s great that those with the greatest connection to the land in regional Australia are now part of the ARTC team looking after our rail corridor.
‘‘Our assets have grown and our focus is on maintaining them and innovating as much as we can into the future,’’ Mr Fullerton said.
This change comes a fresh focus on maintenance and maintaining a high standard rail network.
He went on to say that this move marked a new era for rail maintenance at Seymour and that the community would benefit from having rail maintenance in the area now delivered in-house by staff who were locally based.
All track and civil planning, inspection and line and signalling maintenance on the Interstate rail network between Melbourne and Sydney by a crew of experts who actually live in the area; based at various vantage points between the two major cities — including eight new workers at Seymour.
New staff have also been employed to service several other areas in Victoria including Wangaratta, Geelong and Ararat.
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