Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has launched two Expressions of Interests for the construction of 171 km of Inland Rail track in northern New South Wales.
The first EOI calls for the construction on the Narrabri – North Star section of Inland Rail corridor, while the second process envisages a rail sleeper supply programme that includes the delivery of 1.44 million sleepers.
The Narrabri – North Star project will include upgrading around 171 km of existing rail track through the reconstruction of existing track, replacement of bridges and culverts, level crossings and crossing loops.
Currently, construction works are carried out on the Parkes – Narromine section in New South Wales. They include upgrading works for a 98.4-km line and the construction of a 5.3-km section near Parkes. Construction fully commenced in February 2019 and will continue until mid-2020.
Inland Rail is divided into 13 distinct projects, of which 7 in New South Wales, 5 in Queensland and one in Victoria.
The longest project is the Narromine – Narrabri line (in New South Wales), with a length of 307 km, while the shortest one comprises 26 km between Gowrie and Helidon (in Queensland) which includes the construction of a 6.4-km tunnel.
The Inland Rail project consists of a 1,700-km corridor of which 1,200-km are formed by the existing infrastructure. The line which will link Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, will become the backbone of the national freight network.
The project is estimated at AUD 10.9 billion (USD 7.4 billion), of which the Australian Government has committed AUD 9.3 billion (USD 6.3 billion), with the remaining needed investment being covered from a partnership with the private sector.
The first double stacked 1,800m-long train is expected to run on the corridor in 2025.