The Andrews Labor Government is a step closer to retiring and replacing trains on the Albury line, Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, said today.

Ms Symes said the Government was currently planning for the next generation of trains that could be utilised on the Albury line.

Today’s Victorian Budget provides $15 million towards refurbishing and converting the three train-sets of five carriages into four-train sets of four carriages on the Albury line.

This will improve reliability and improve the carriages to make them more comfortable for passengers.

The old carriages will be cleaned, seats re-upholstered and new carpet will be laid, to make them more comfortable for passengers, this is a short term measure whilst the plan for retiring the fleet and replacing them with new rolling stock is finalised.

$5 million has also been allocated to plan for new rail tracks between Upfield and Somerton.

The new tracks would mean that services using the Albury, Seymour and Shepparton lines will have an alternative route into Melbourne, creating capacity for additional services for V/Line passengers.

The Victorian Budget provides major maintenance funding to clean and update V/Line’s classic fleet of non-VLocity carriages.

This investment will support extra services and capacity across the regional network, including an extra service to Shepparton every single day.

The Victorian Budget also provides $5 million to develop a business case for track, signalling and other infrastructure upgrades between Upfield and Somerton to allow for increased services to and from Seymour.

A range of upgrades will be carried out along the line, to make it safer, quicker and easier to get to the station and catch the train.

Up to 200 extra car parks will be added at Wallan and Kilmore East Stations, the shelters and waiting area at Shepparton Station will be upgraded and the bus interchange at Seymour will be improved.

Better bike parking will also be provided at major stations in the Hume region, to make it safer and easier to ride to the station.

“We have listened to the community and they have told us they want better trains, more services and trains that turn up on time,” Ms Symes said.

“Whilst I would like to be announcing a train order for the North East line today, I am pleased we are a step closer to securing the next generation of trains and in the meantime upgrading the current fleet to make them more comfortable for passengers.”