Transport Minister Jacinta Allan has confirmed the freight yard at the Maryborough Rail Station will receive alterations as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project.
Despite rising concern from various sections of the community that the area would be made redundant, Ms Allan said the freight yard and a nearby passing loop would be retained in the $416 million project.
"The loop at Maryborough will be retained and the freight yard will be reconfigured to accommodate 40-wagon grain trains,” she said in a written statement to The Courier.
"The (Murray Basin) project office will also be at the Maryborough station so that residents and businesses can easily talk to the project team.”
The exact changes to the Maryborough area remain unclear, with planning still being completed; however, it’s understood the changes will allow the yard to house longer trains.
Ms Allan’s confirmation that the freight yard will be retained is welcome news for many, with both the Rail Revival Alliance and Central Goldfields Shire Council both fearful it would be made redundant – potentially impacting economic advantages for the township.
In September, Central Goldfields Shire chief executive Mark Johnston penned a letter to Ms Allan expressing concerns over what the potential removal of infrastructure would mean for the shire.
“These would appear to council to be important infrastructure that could provide opportunity for Central Goldfields Shire to develop business opportunities off; and to enable ready access for the the socially disadvantage (sic.) to access the retail centre of Maryborough,” he wrote.
RRA president Noel Laidlaw said it was “fantastic” the yard will be retained, but reserved judgement on its success until full planning is released.
“The devil is in the detail. But we really need to know what the details.
“How many roads are going to be left (in the yard)?”
It’s understood V/Line is working with various freight operators to ensure the reconfigured yard meets their needs.
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