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Train travellers, residents and other interested community members have less than three weeks left to have their say about the works they think should be done as part of the $530 million Gippsland Rail Corridor Upgrade.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester, who allocated $504 million from the Federal Government to the project in June 2017 when he was the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, encouraged locals to provide their feedback on the works program.

“Like many Gippslanders, I’m disappointed and frustrated two years after I announced the funding from Canberra for the Gippsland line that the Andrews Government has not advanced this project further,” Mr Chester said.

“This is one of the most significant Federal Government investments in transport infrastructure in the state’s east. It will improve travel times and service reliability for passengers and create hundreds of local jobs.

“Gippsland train travellers deserve a better, faster and more reliable rail service and they have already waited too long!

“Now is the time for the public to have its say on what work they think needs to be done as part of this historic investment in our transport infrastructure.”

So far, the works program includes improving the stations at Morwell and Traralgon, duplicating sections of the line and upgrading level crossings.

The survey is available at Feedback must be provided before 5pm Wednesday June 19.

Meanwhile, Mr Chester said a contractor would soon be appointed to design and construct the new rail bridge across the Avon River at Stratford.

“The $95 million Avon River Bridge project is the first stage of the Gippsland line works,” Mr Chester said.

“A new rail bridge will be built upstream of the current bridge and the McAlister Street level crossing will be upgraded to include a pedestrian crossing and boom gates.”

Mr Chester said trains crossing the current rail bridge, which was included on the Victorian Heritage Register last December, could travel no more than 10 kilometre per hour.

“Trains will be able to reach speeds of up to 90 kilometres an hour on the new bridge, which will cut travel time between Sale and Bairnsdale,” Mr Chester said.

An amendment to the Wellington planning scheme was approved and gazetted this month so land could be developed and used for the new rail bridge across the Avon River.

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