ARTC Signs Contract For New Wagga Rail Bridge

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) today signed the contract for the construction of a new $16 million Wagga Rail Bridge to replace the existing Wagga rail bridge across the Murrumbidgee river.

Arenco Pty Ltd, a Newcastle based Australian company was chosen as the successful tenderer by ARTC for the new 200 metre concrete ballast bridge to be built on the same alignment as the existing 125 year old wrought iron bridge.

The Minister for Transport and Regional Services the Hon Warren Truss today witnessed the signing of the contract between ARTC and Arenco.

“The new Wagga rail bridge will be fully operational from 3 January next year and will remove a major impediment on the Main South, Sydney to Melbourne line. The present permanent and long term 20 kph speed restriction will be lifted to 80 kph.” David Marchant Chief Executive Officer of ARTC said.

“Over a 4 day close down of the track from 30 December this year, the existing bridge will be removed and the new structure assembled using pre cast deck units which will be built off site. The new bridge will be built on the same horizontal and vertical alignment across the Murrumbidgee river as the existing bridge The process of building a major portion off site will enable trains to continue to run all year until the 4 day shut down begins on 30 December.” David Marchant said.

In addition to this investment the Australian Government announced an additional $270m for ARTC in the last Federal Budget. ARTC has decided to use these funds to fully concrete sleeper the rail lines between Melbourne and Sydney and Newcastle and the Queensland border.

The concrete sleepers upgrade from Melbourne to Sydney will cost $210m and includes the provision of 1.2 million concrete sleepers. This will significantly improve track ride quality and performance of the line.

The major work for the new bridge is scheduled to start mid year on the substructure for the piles, piers and headstock.

As well as the New Wagga rail bridge, ARTC is also investing $560 million on a major upgrade to the Main South line with our Alliance partners led by John Holland, MVM Rail and O’Donnell Griffin. These major Alliance works are being run from the Alliance ‘s headquarters in Wagga.” David Marchant said.

Since November last year, ARTC has implemented four alliance contracts to upgrade the North South rail network as part of ARTC’s $1.4 billion North South Rail Corridor Upgrade Programme. These are the $200 million North Coast Improvement Alliance, the $134 million North Signalling alliance and a $100 million concrete Sleeper contract for the initial supply of 1.35 million concrete sleepers.

17 May 2006

For further information contact:

David Marchant 0419 733 201

Prue Regan ARTC 02 82590716 or 0419 297 004

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