The NSW Government has announced that design and planning work has started at Coolamon part of Junee to Griffith rail loop project which will improve the rail freight efficiency across the state.
AUD 11.66 million (USD 9 million) funding from the government through the Fixing Country Rail Programme will extend the current 900 metre loop to 1500 metres, improving access for modern and heavier freight trains. The government is providing AUD 60.4 million (USD 47 million) to upgrade the Junee to Griffith rail line to provide a more efficient freight link to port and domestic markets.
“The extension of the loop is important to improving the efficiency of freight movements and is part of wider upgrades being carried out on the Junee to Griffith rail line to ensure a stronger and safer regional NSW,” Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said.
The extension of the loop will mean longer trains can be taken off the main line while they are being loaded allowing other trains to pass by unimpeded. Upgrade works for the sleepers and drainage, and building a new turnout are also part of the project in Coolamon, in south-west NSW.
In February, work has started on the Junee to Griffith rail upgrade to improve efficiency for freight carriers and reduce costs for producers and consumers.
The entire project covers the upgrade of 174 km of rail line between the two destinations to allow trains to carry up to 25 tonne axle loads. In addition, the trains will be able to run at 80 km/h, from currently 50 km/h reducing the delivery times.
The government is investing AUD 400 million (USD 311.7 million) through the Fixing Country Rail programme to unlock the economic potential of regional NSW by upgrading rail lines to take increased loads, longer sidings and loops to accommodate longer trains and freeing up mainline operations and some branch reactivations.