Toot, toot. It’s back on track

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

TRAINS fi­nally re­turned to the Echuca line on Fri­day af­ter eight weeks off the tracks.

A $4.9 mil­lion pro­gram to im­prove de­tec­tion at all level cross­ings be­tween Echuca and Bendigo, in­clud­ing Rochester, had seen buses re­place trains since March 20.

Those up­grades came af­ter a fault at a boom-gate cross­ing near Goornong, which was slow to de­tect an ap­proach­ing train.

V/Line re­gional man­ager Jonathan McKe­own said the up­grades would en­sure level cross­ings ac­ti­vated in time.

‘‘We’ve in­stalled axle coun­ters at all ac­tive level cross­ings on the Echuca line, and af­ter ex­ten­sive test­ing, we’re con­fi­dent the im­proved tech­nol­ogy will de­tect trains with the warn­ing time that’s re­quired,’’ he said.

‘‘Boom gates have also been in­stalled at the El­more-Ray­wood Rd level cross­ing in El­more, adding to the ex­ist­ing bells and flash­ing lights in place.’’

Mr McKe­own said V/Line thanked its pas­sen­gers for their pa­tience as crews worked on the up­grades.

‘‘Safety will al­ways be our num­ber one pri­or­ity and we’re con­stantly look­ing at ways we can im­prove,’’ he said.

Mr McKe­own urged peo­ple to take care around tracks and level cross­ings as trains re­turned to the line.

‘‘With trains re­sum­ing along the cor­ri­dor af­ter a num­ber of weeks, mo­torists and pedes­tri­ans are re­minded to be safe in and around level cross­ings,’’ he said.

‘‘Trains are heavy and fast mov­ing and can come from ei­ther di­rec­tion at any time, so we ask that peo­ple are vig­i­lant and don’t take risks around the tracks.’’

The first ser­vice that re­turned as a train was the 3.14pm from South­ern Cross Sta­tion to Echuca Fri­day af­ter­noon.

For more de­tails go to vline.com.au or phone 1800 800 007.

Photo:LUKE HE­MER

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