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MOVES to replace V/Line’s ageing long-haul train fleet have been described as solving a piece in the puzzle of returning passenger rail to Mildura, but key pieces are still to fall into place.

Mainfreight is a believer. So is dairy giant Fonterra. Transport Minister Steven Joyce is "agnostic" and many taxpayers will be praying for a miracle.



The $4.6 billion "turnaround" plan for New Zealand's rail freight network is inspiring devotees and cynics in equal measure.



Mainfreight and Fonterra are backing it with hard cash and complementary investments. Mainfreight, a listed global logistics company, has earmarked $60 million for investment in new railhead depots.

BigBoy, the largest successful engine ever created, was not only a technological achievement and trophy piece, rather a necessity for the Union Pacific Railroad.

A RAIL group’s proposal to introduce a direct rail link from Bendigo to Geelong via Ballarat will not be considered because the state government has other regional rail priorities, public transport minister Jacinta Allan says.

The Victorian Opposition is pledging to bring the Shepparton line up to eight return daily services to Melbourne with a $77 million upgrade to the line, if elected in November.

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