ARTC Announces $7.73 million for new Viaduct on Main Sydney to Brisbane Line

“The new $7.73 million Leeville rail viaduct announced today by Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) will make a major contribution to the efficiency of rail transport on the Sydney to Brisbane rail corridor.” David Marchant CEO of ARTC said today.

The ARTC Board this week approved the new Leeville rail viaduct located between Grafton and Casino which will remove a 9 year old 40 km/hr speed restriction on the Main North coast line.

The new viaduct will replace the present 81 year old, 510 metre long Leeville rail viaduct with a pre cast concrete ballast top culvert structure. Site construction is scheduled to commence in November 2006.

“On completion in April 2007 the new Leeville viaduct will allow track speed to be increased to 115/120 km/hr restoring mainline speed across the viaduct. The structure will be highly reliable and low maintenance with a 100 year life span.” David Marchant said

The new viaduct will deliver a 3.5 minute benefit in transit time.

The present speed restriction requires a freight train to slow down for 1.8 kms to reach 40km/hr which affects a distance of 6.9kms.

ARTC’s Northern Improvement Strategy which is to be delivered over the next 3 years, is directed at reducing transit times for 1500 super freighters between Sydney and Brisbane from 19 hours 22 minutes to 15 hours 30 minutes.

The Leeville Viaduct project is part of the $200 million North Coast Improvement program announced by ARTC in October 2005 to be delivered by the Northern Improvement Alliance an alliance between ARTC and Transport Express Joint Venture, a joint venture between Barclay Mowlem Construction Ltd and Balfour Beatty Pty Ltd.

“The significant upgrade currently being undertaken on the North Coast line will deliver a reliable track to operators and is estimated to lift rail’s market share over the next 10 years from Sydney to Brisbane.” David Marchant said.

ARTC currently has two key investment strategies in place. The $1.7 billion North South Investment strategy directed at significantly increasing rail’s competitiveness in the interstate intermodal market and the $375 million enhancement program in the Hunter Valley Coal Network.

Contact: David Marchant 0419 733 201
Prue Regan ARTC 02 82590716 or 0419 297 004

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