THE Labor government has promised to build new train stations for Goornong, Raywood and Huntly by 2023 if re-elected as part of a $49.6 million rail project.
Described as the next stage of the Bendigo Metro rail project, construction on the Goornong station will start next year and finish in 2021, the Raywood station will be complete by 2022 and Huntly by 2023.
All new stations will have car parking, covered waiting areas with seating. The government predicts the project will create up to 150 jobs during the construction phase.
They are likely to be similar in appearance to the new station at Epsom.
Public transport minister and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said she expects the services will be utilised in the three towns.
“Since Bendigo Metro has been implemented, many people from these communities have indicated that they would like to see trains stop in their towns,” she said.
“It gives people who live there more options to travel to Bendigo and Melbourne, and to have access to health services.
“It will also attract people to live in these towns.
“The great benefit of these is that they are currently sitting on operating rail lines.”
The Raywood station is on the Swan Hill line, and Goornong and Huntly are on the Echuca line. Ms Allan predicts the extra stops will only add “a couple of minutes” the travel time to Echuca.
The Echuca line is currently undergoing a $91 million upgrade to increase the maximum speed of trains from 80 kilometres per hour to 130, including signal upgrades.
Earlier this week Ms Allan said she expected central Victorian passengers to benefit from the $50 billion suburban rail loop announced by Labor.
Under the plan, the Bendigo line will connect to a regional “super hub” at Sunshine, which would be one stop away from a proposed Melbourne Airport Station.
Speaking of the suburban rail loop plan earlier this week, Bendigo East MP Jacinta Allan said the project would make travel into Melbourne easier for those living in Bendigo and central Victoria.
“Regional Victorians are going to massively benefit from this project, because they too will have more choices about how they access hospital appointments, jobs, in and around the suburbs,” she said.
In April, the Opposition promised to return passenger rail services to Dunolly, St Arnaud and Donald if elected as part of a $32 million plan to extend services on the Maryborough line, with four return services on weekdays and two on weekends where passengers from Melbourne will change at Ballarat to continue to Donald.
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