The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water approved the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Inland Rail North Star-Queensland Border section.
This 39 km section of Inland Rail connects North Star in New South Wales to the Queensland Rail South Western System on the border of the two states.
The North Star to New South Wales/Queensland Border (NS2B) project consists of upgrading approximately 27 km of non-operational existing rail corridor and constructing 12 km of new track. This includes approximately 30 km in New South Wales and 9km in Queensland.
While the approvals for the New South Wales section of the project are now complete, the 9 km section of rail in Queensland is still being considered by the Queensland State Government’s Office of the Coordinator General as part of the separate Border to Gowrie EIS process.
Activities to secure the land required for the North Star to New South Wales/Queensland Border corridor and inform the design of the project are continuing, including land and geotechnical surveys.
Future construction north of Narromine will only proceed once all necessary approvals have been gained, to provide sufficient certainty that the Inland Rail project can be built to an agreed budget and timeframe.
The Inland Rail North Star-Queensland Border section will cross along the route between Bibilah, Mungle and Wearne, which will need track upgrade, and from Toomelah towards Queensland, the infrastructure must be constructed. The line follows the existing track north from North Star before crossing Bruxner Way and the border to join the existing Queensland Rail line.
The project is currently in the reference design stage. During this time, ARTC are conducting various studies and consulting with landowners and other key stakeholders to better understand potential issues and opportunities around the Macintyre River crossing.
According to the schedule of the project, the detailed design, early works and constructions are planned to be completed in 2026 and commissioning and operation would be possible from 2027.
Inland Rail is a 1,700km freight corridor which will be the backbone of Australia’s freight transport providing transit times of less than 24 hours for freight trains travelling between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Comprising 13 individual projects, Inland Rail is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia and one of the most significant infrastructure projects in the world.