Track Upgrading Brings Higher Train Speeds

The Australian Rail Track Corporation will implement the final part of its Port Augusta track upgrading project this coming weekend, by raising speed limits for trains passing through Port Augusta and Stirling North from 30 km/h to 40 km/h. Motorists and pedestrians are being reminded to obey the road rules and take extra care when crossing the railway line in these areas. An ARTC and National Rail funded awareness campaign will be conducted in local primary schools this week to ensure children are aware of the safety issues surrounding these changes.

The speed increases have been made possible as the result of a $3.5 million upgrading of tracks in the Port Augusta and Stirling North areas. The project has also seen construction of a new 1.8 km long crossing loop for transcontinental freight trains at Spencer Junction and a number of improvements to signalling in the area.

These are the final improvements in an overall upgrade of the Adelaide to Perth railway line, on which Port Augusta is a key location. The upgrading has already brought about significant improvements in the performance of rail on this important freight corridor. Rail now carries 77% of freight from the eastern states to Perth, removing a large number of semi-trailers and road trains from the highway.

The new works will also improve the efficiency of Port Augusta as a railway location, thereby laying a strong foundation for the town’s role in the construction of the Alice to Darwin rail link.

In implementing the new works careful attention was also given to ensuring that they did not prejudice the proposed extension of the Pichi Richi Railway into Port Augusta. In fact in some places ARTC work was carried out in tandem with necessary extension works resulting in cost savings for the Pichi Richi project. The changes in speeds for freight trains passing through the Port Augusta and Stirling North areas are as follows:

  • From 0001 hrs on 4 June – Train speeds will be raised from the current 30 km/h to 40 km/h .
  • From 0001hrs on 17 June – Train speeds will be raised from 40km/h to 60km/h.

It is important that all motorists and pedestrians crossing the rail track in the Stirling North area, especially at North Terrace, Harris Street and Footner Street are aware of these changed circumstances.

ARTC will operate extra security patrols in the area during the implementation period to ensure people are aware of these changes.

ARTC Managing Director, David Marchant said, “Rail has an enviable safety record and all necessary safety steps have been taken in relation to this project to ensure this record is maintained.”

“Motorists and pedestrians are urged to obey all normal road rules and precautions when crossing the rail track including the observance of all STOP signs and other warning devices at level crossings in the area.”

For Further Information Contact: David Marchant on 0419 733 201

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