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THE Victorian government said it is soon to begin to upgrade the freight corridor between Mildura and the Port of Melbourne.

The works will allow for heavier and more frequent trains to operate on the freight-rail route.

The works include siding extension works at Merbein near Mildura, to allow 1200-metre-long trains to stable away from the main line so grain trains can run more frequently to Yelta, ahead of what is expected to be another bumper grain season.

Crossing loops further south will also be extended to allow opposing 1200-metre-long freight trains to pass each other.

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Victoria minister for ports and freight Melissa Horne said the works would provide a big benefit.

“[The works will allow] for more frequent and heavier services of fruit, wine, grain and peas to operate on freight trains between Mildura and the Port of Melbourne,” she said.

“We’re keeping the rail freight network moving in Mildura and ensuring we are continuing to support our famers and freight operators by making it easier and quicker for them to transport their local produce.”

A statement from the state government said this would enable an increase the current Seaway Intermodal service between Mildura to the Port of Melbourne from to three to five days a week.

The statement said packed citrus product from the Mildura Fruit Company (MFC) forms a major portion of Seaway Intermodal’s freight business, with approximately 5000 containers of produce moved per year by rail from MFC alone.

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