The long-awaited, highly anticipated rail project connecting Brisbane and Melbourne has reached a significant milestone after the first shipments of track steel were received.
Spanning some 1,700km, the $8.4bn project will require 266,000 tonnes of steel to complete, with this first delivery for 14,000 tonnes enough to cover a 60km section from Parkes to Narromine. Liberty OneSteel Whyalla Steelworks is providing the material.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce said: “This project is a game-changer for our regions, creating thousands of jobs nationwide, and returning $16bn to the national economy during the delivery phase and the first 50 years of operation.
“It will improve travel times for local farmers and producers, reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling through small towns, and slash business costs for freight operators.”
It is thought that the new line will bring journey times to under 24 hours once completed in 2024-25.
Construction works on the Parkes to Narromine section will commence once all necessary approvals have been received. Works will include reconstruction of the existing track, replacement of bridges and culverts, enhanced level crossings and crossing loops.
More information about the Inland Rail project is available at www.inlandrail.com.au.