The first section of track was laid on the Phase 1 of Narrabri – North Star rail line part of Inland Rail in New South Wales, marking significant progress towards opening the line for harvest in November 2021.
Reaching this major construction milestone brings work between Penneys Road, Bellata and Tapscott Road, South Moree, closer to completion. Currently, 22% of the track has been installed, comprising 9,937 sleepers and 5.9 km of new rail. With a significant section of the track placed, welding commenced in mid-August to fuse 3 km sections of rail together to create a near-complete alignment.
At Gurley, the construction of the rail bridge nears completion, with all 14 bridge deck units that make up the superstructure now installed. Bridge deck installation is one of the final major steps in the rail bridge construction before placing the ballast and rails across the structure. Works will continue on the bridge, including installing the abutments, landscaping, handrails and stairs.
At the end of 2020, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) awarded a AUD 693 million (USD 505.7 million) contract for the construction works on Narrabri-North Star railway line.
The is on schedule to complete the Narrabri – North Star rail line before 1st November which will enable trains to transport grain between Moree and Narrabri and beyond throughout harvest.
At the same time, for the second phase of the Narrabri to North Star section, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is expected to display in early 2022 and the construction works are scheduled to start in 2023.
The peoject line between Narrabri and North Star comprises 182.8 km of upgraded track and 1.7 km of new track in new greenfield corridor. This track will be upgraded to allow Inland Rail traffic to travel at mainline speed.
Inland Rail is comprises a 1,700 km rail corridor linking Melbourne and Brisbane through the regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. The complex project has been broken up into 13 individual projects.