Today’s Budget announcement is welcomed news that further rail investment will be made in Victoria.

“The rail industry welcomes to the tune of over $1.5 billion towards Victoria’s metropolitan and regional rail networks,” said ARA CEO, Danny Broad.

“ We are pleased to hear that $572 million will go towards updating one of Melbourne’s busiest rail corridors – the Cranbourne, Pakenham and Sunbury lines.

“The Victorian Government will invest $313 million upgrading infrastructure and enabling new VLocity trains to operate on the Shepparton line.

“$50 million will be injected into the planning of a fast train to Geelong integrated with an Airport Rail Link in Melbourne’s West.

“The Victorian Government will also deliver $103.5 million to purchase another five X’Trapolis trains.

“The Victorian Government has also identified the skills needed in the future work force to remove level crossings and to build the rail lines of tomorrow.

“It is much welcomed news that the Victorian Government is investing $172 million towards making TAFE free for 30 priority courses, which will provide an entry ticket to a pathway into the rail industry.

“$49.8 million will also be invested in Head Start Apprenticeships and Traineeships to provide secondary school students an opportunity to learn a trade at school and $109 million will be provided to assist students make the right career choices earlier.

“These are all welcomed initiatives which the rail industry embraces, that will invest in the future rail skills of tomorrow.

“The ARA looks forward to working with the Victorian Government as active participants in these initiatives,” concluded Danny Broad.