WORK is continuing on the new train stations at Huntly and Goornong with one build set to be complete by the end of the year.
Regional Rail Revival director Mark Havryluk said work was progressing well, with critical works including track alignment and platform construction underway.
"The new stations have a separate workforce from the track upgrades, so we've been able to remain on track with construction of both Goornong and Huntly," he said.
"The Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade is going to make a huge difference to the way people travel around the region, and passengers on the Echuca Line will be the first to benefit."
The platform at Goornong Station is being built, while more than 1,000 tonnes of structural fill have been placed at Huntly to prepare the site for major construction.
Coaches will continue to replace Echuca Line trains between Bendigo and Echuca throughout November to enable works to continue taking place.
The construction, which began in September, aims to improve travel time along the line, as well as make repairs on the tracks.
Track upgrades between Epsom and Goornong being delivered as part of the Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade will increase the maximum speed of trains from 80km/h up to 130km/h.
Trains will still run between Bendigo and Epsom for local passengers.
Mr Havryluk said the disruption had been extended to account for recent delays to works due to coronavirus, including an on-site positive case which closed the site for two weeks and restrictions on worker movement between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
"Works on our track upgrades were unable to progress for several weeks due to coronavirus impacts, and there is still a lot to be done to bring the track up to the required standard to enable higher speeds to be achieved," he said.
"We apologise to passengers for the inconvenience of an extended disruption, but this extra time will allow us to complete these upgrades safely so trains can return to Echuca as soon as possible."
Local contractors have been heavily involved in the delivery of the project, with the largest package of sub-contracted works being delivered by Bendigo-based Avard Civil.
The new station at Goornong is targeted for completion by the end of the year, with Huntly to follow in mid-2022 and Raywood Station on the Swan Hill Line at the end of 2022.
The Bendigo and Echuca Line Upgrade will also deliver a new electronic train order (ETO) system, which will allow additional weekday return services to both Eaglehawk and Epsom, and triple the number of weekday services to and from Echuca after completion, which is targeted for late 2022.
Passenger trains will return to the Echuca Line on December 1.
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