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NSW spends up big on rail and light rail

The 2016-17 New South Wales budget was a bonanza for rail with a record $10.5 billion set aside for public transport. Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance revealed $2.7b of that would be spent on fully funding Australia’s biggest public transport project, the Sydney Metro City and Southwest, which had a cost range of $11.5b-$12.5b. Planning and delivery of the state’s three new light-rail networks will also be supported, with $71 million to continue delivery of the Sydney CBD and South East Light Rail, $64m to continue planning and preparatory work for Parramatta Light Rail and $142m for Newcastle Light Rail.

Cross River Rail a step closer

Queensland’s number one infrastructure project – Cross River Rail – has moved a step closer with the Queensland Government announcing it will invest $634 million over the next eight years in a new European Train Control System. The new system, which will be fully funded by the state government, will be installed from Northgate to Milton, upgrading 26 per cent of the existing signalling assets in South East Queensland in one project. It is expected to be operational by 2021.

V/Line undergoing cultural changes

The demand for services from Victoria’s regional rail provider V/Line is shifting from passengers to more commuter-style services, the State Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has told a Victoria parliamentary committee. She said V/Line was undergoing “cultural change”. “With the significant population growth in what you now call the ‘two-hour ring’ around Melbourne – with more people moving into those areas – the demand is now shifting from passengers to more commuter-style services, which is a different type of service delivery.”

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