The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) appointed Freight Connect, a consortium led by Laing O’Rourke and including FKG Group, as the preferred proponent to deliver civil works for Inland Rail missing link between New South Wales and Queensland.
The contract covers an 85 km section between between North Star in Northern New South Wales and Whetstone in Southern Queensland as well as a separate 14 km package south of Moree called Narrabri (north west NSW) to North Star Phase 2.
The central works programme between Narrabri (NSW) and Whetstone (Queensland) is valued at more than AUD 1 billion (USD 730 million).
The central civil works package for the new rail line covers the construction of 15 km of new rail line and the modernisation of 83 km of existing rail corridor. 51 km of standard gauge and 47 km of dual gauge. The project includes 20 rail bridges, two crossing loops, each 2.2 km long, three rail-over-road grade separations and 16 public road level crossings, of which 8 in NSW, 8 in Queensland.
“Freight Connect will initially be working with ARTC to review the reference design and develop construction plans and methodologies ahead of the development of a fully costed proposal for the first of the works packages next year,” ARTC Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering said.
The rail corridor at the border between NSW and Queensland to Gowrie comprises 207 km of new dual gauge track of which 138 km in new greenfield corridors and 69 km within existing corridors from the border near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north-west of Toowoomba.
From North Star to NSW – Queensland border, the project comprises 39 km of new track, using 25 km of existing rail corridor. This section will complete a key Inland Rail missing link between the two states, using the non-operational rail corridor or new track to connect to the operating line running to Yelarbon.
Until now, ARTC has signed 641 contracts to businesses in Queensland and 657 in NSW worth more than AUD 1.95 billion (USD 1.4 billion) across the two states.