AUSTRALIA: An A$650m contract for the next phase of the Inland Rail corridor has been signed by Australian Rail Track Corp and the Trans4m Rail joint venture.
Under the N2NS Phase 1 package announced on November 10, the joint venture between John Holland and SEE Civil will rebuild approximately 171 km of existing line between Narrabri and North Star in northeast New South Wales as part of the 1 700 km Melbourne – Brisbane route.
As with the Parkes – Narromine section completed earlier this year, the line is to be relaid with new rails and concrete sleepers able to handle longer and heavier trains.
Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said the infrastructure manager had already been procuring materials for the N2NS project. ‘Over the past 18 months, 341 225 sleepers from Mittagong and Wagga Wagga and 24 775 tonnes of Whyalla steel have been delivered to the alignment in preparation for works to start’, he reported. ‘Construction is expected to deliver more than 500 jobs to the area and will help our national economy rebuild in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.’
Explaining that Inland Rail had been consulting with key stakeholders such as landholders, businesses and local government on how the project would benefit the area, Wankmuller said there was ‘a lot of enthusiasm being generated in Moree and Narrabri as businesses get “Inland Rail ready” ahead of the start of works. Now that we have engaged Trans4m Rail, it signals to the local community that this is real and will be starting soon.
‘The construction activity will bring opportunities for businesses to participate in delivering the work, but there will also be a positive flow-on effect for motels, retailers, cafes and restaurants through to a range of service providers who will reap the benefits.’
Trans4M Rail’s Project Director Jon Holmes said the joint venture would ‘continue our integration with the local communities along with establishing long-term business relationships, while embracing local knowledge, skills and resources to deliver the best outcomes for all’.