A better and more reliable service for commuters and freight in the Southern Highlands awaits with the completion of the Australian Rail Track Corporation's (ARTC) $40 million Goulburn to Sydney re-rail project.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack welcomed the announcement, saying this was timely news for the region.
"The ARTC's re-railing project has made improvements along the Southern Highlands line, meaning commuters and freight will have more reliable, better-quality journeys," he said.
"This will provide a welcome productivity boost for our national supply chain at a time when it's needed more than ever, particularly for the Australian businesses using the rail line to get their products to markets.
"The project also created 50 jobs during construction and directly supported local steel manufacturing by using nearly 10,000 tonnes of Australian-made, Whyalla steel rail."
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said improving this critical section of the Sydney to Melbourne rail corridor would provide a major reliability boost to freight and benefit local businesses and suppliers.
"Safe and efficient freight networks are critical to the national economy and to all Australians, particularly as our hard-working freight operators continue to deliver our Australian goods to consumers and international markets," he said.
"This type of large-scale infrastructure project also spurs further economic growth, creating jobs and encouraging local investment in communities.
"The Government's continued investment in our national freight supply chain demonstrates our support for every Australian business relying on it."
Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor said successful completion of the Goulburn to Sydney re-rail project had laid the groundwork for Stage Two, which is set to start in August 2020.
"The ARTC's $28 million Stage Two project for the Goulburn and Sydney line will support around 30 full-time jobs for local contractors, making a world of difference locally as we recover from COVID-19," he said.
"The ARTC will be calling for tenders in coming weeks for the first package of works, as the Government continues to support local procurement."
The entire two-year project is set to replace a further 98 kilometres of the Goulburn and Sydney track to further improve services on the line.