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Frequently Asked Questions

Will the return of the rail line conflict with the Great Southern Rail Trail?

  1. The rail reserve is 44m which is sufficient to run two rail tracks as well as the rail trail. Part of the Hastings line has the rail trail adjacent to it without any problems.
  2. The redevelopment of the rail line will be complementary to the rail trail with proper separation. It will also add to the patronage of the trail by attracting rail tourists as is occurring elsewhere in Victoria.

Frankston Baxter Rail Trail

Why will it happen this time when it failed in the past?

  1. Persistence pays off.
  2. The State and Federal Governments now have a strong focus on regional development. Gippsland is well known in Canberra and Melbourne as several Ministers are from Gippsland, including the Deputy Premier.
  3. The previous case focused on public transport alone and did not explore freight properly.
  4. There is now a compelling economic argument for redevelopment of the rail line given growing congestion on the Monash Freeway and escalating fuel costs.
  5. Milk products are the most valuable export from the Port of Melbourne and cheaper, faster freight services will be essential to maintain a competitive dairy industry in Gippsland as costs increase due to fuel prices and carbon pricing.

Is it technically impossible to redevelop a fast line?

  1. The previous State Government undertook a scoping study for the reopening of the South Gippsland line in 2004. The study concluded that it was feasible to reopen the line.
  2. Rail services globally are undergoing a renaissance with both the modernisation of older lines and the development of new lines. The Victorian Government has already modernised public transport and freight lines for Geelong, Mildura, Bendigo, Ballarat and East Gippsland.
  3. The development of the rail services proposed is technically feasible. The right of way between Cranbourne and Koo Wee Rup requires some upgrading, but is well within technical capabilities. A new link would need to be surveyed and designed between Koo Wee Rup and Pakenham possibly from Monomeith or along the proposed and upgraded Healsville-Koo Wee Rup Road.
  4. To reopen the Koo Wee Rup South Gippsland line it would need to be reconstructed and realigned. The line from Loch to Korumburra and Korumburra to Leongatha would need to be realigned and the gradient changed from 1:40 to 1:50 to increase speed and efficiency for both passenger and freight; ensuring a highly efficient and speedy service for residents of South Gippsland and Bass Coast Shires.

Should the money go into reconstructing South Gippsland Highway instead?

  1. It shouldn’t be an either or situation. Both are needed.
  2. The South Gippsland Highway is deteriorating because of its age and the levels of heavy freight. Given the growing freight load from South Gippsland it makes sense to divert as much as possible to rail.

How long will it take to build?

  1. A commitment in 2013 would see the line restored by 2016-2017.
  2. The overall design and construct period for the South Gippsland line would be 4-5 years. The design and realigning of the upgraded line would take 18 months -2 years. The construction period would be 2 years. The restoration of the line between Cranbourne and Koo Wee Rup could be completed easily in 12-18m as the condition of the line is reasonable. A new loop from Koo Wee Rup to Pakenham would take 2-3 years and would require alignment in the proposed and upgraded Healsville-Koo Wee Rup Road.