The Liberal Nationals will complete the Yarra Valley Railway by upgrading the link from Tarrawarra Estate and Tarrawarra Museum of Art to Healesville Railway Station.
An elected Liberal Nationals Government will contribute $4 million to the project, on top of the $2.74 million already raised by the local community.
This upgrade will allow for greater capacity for tourist trains and the ability for the line to have historic steam trains operating.
The Yarra Valley, most famous for its world leading vineyards and Healesville Sanctuary, attracts 3 million tourists to the area each year.
There is an existing rail line linking Yarra Glen to Healesville, though this has been unused for many years. Upgrades have been needed to return it to full operation. This announcement will contribute towards the second and final stage that will link Tarrawarra Estate to Healesville Station.
There will be upgrades to improve old bridges and stations and will allow the line to cater for new trains, including more powerful and higher capacity steam trains. It will increase passenger capacity from 40 people per train to 600 people per train.
This project will create 126 jobs and provide $30 million in economic benefit.
Comments attributable to Leader of the Opposition, Matthew Guy:
“The Yarra Valley Tourist Railway has a huge future ahead of it, steaming tourists in to Healesville from Yarra Glen, in the same way Puffing Billy does for the Dandenong Ranges.
Investing in this railway is a big boost for jobs and tourism, and most importantly will bring the disused railway fully back to life.”
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, Heidi Victoria:
“This exciting tourism investment by the Liberal Nationals will mean more local jobs and more tourist options for the Yarra Valley.”
Comments attributable to Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish:
“As a long term supporter of the project, I am very proud to have been able to deliver this commitment that will help ensure the railway will be finished.
This is a big win for our community especially when it comes to the jobs and economic activity that will be created with more visitors to the Yarra Valley.
What makes this project so special is that it is Australia’s largest volunteer infrastructure project. Credit should go to the committed volunteers who are lovingly and painstakingly working to restore the rail line, rolling stock and train stations.”
Comments attributable to Liberal Candidate for Evelyn, Bridget Vallence:
“As a local candidate and local mum, I’m excited for the opportunity this investment will make in family friendly tourist activities for the region.”