New ARTC Projects will Open East West Rail Network to Double Stacking

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) has announced that work has begun on the replacement of the Dowd’s Hill tunnel on the rail network between Broken Hill and Adelaide. The project forms a major part of ARTC’s program to enable double stacked container trains to travel from Parkes through Broken Hill to Adelaide and Perth.

“The replacement of the 35 year old Dowd’s Hill tunnel is a $3million project and forms part of a larger $4.8 million ARTC program to improve the clearance and dimensions for containers on rail on this line.” David Marchant Chief Executive of ARTC said.

” Rail competitiveness will be improved by allowing the carriage of double stack containers and other high loads from Parkes to Perth, through increased corridor and train capacity and better use of wagons and train paths”,

“We understand that operators are keenly interested in taking up the opportunity for double stacking as soon as the capacity is provided”, Mr Marchant said.

The new Dowd’s Hill tunnel along with improvements at five other locations being planned by ARTC will fully open the line from Parkes to Perth for double stacking of rail freight on ARTC’s East West network.

The five other locations at which clearance improvement is planned, involve the lowering of the railway track. They are at the Barrier Highway overpass at Cockburn, Gypsum Street and South Road at Broken Hill, McDonnell Street at Condobolin and the overpass of the Parkes to Condobolin Road at Ootha. These five projects are presently at the planning stage and will proceed as soon as engineering investigations and approvals are obtained from the Road Authorities.

During construction of the new Dowd’s Hill Tunnel, located about 5 kilometres east of Peterborough in South Australia, a temporary road deviation will divert road traffic around the construction site. A temporary level crossing on the road deviation will be protected by bells and gongs. Construction of the level crossing is due to start in the next 3 weeks and the road diversion will be in place from August to December 2007.

South Australian Company Bardavcol has been awarded the contract to design and construct the new tunnel. Signalling work on the level crossing will be carried out by ARTC Services Company and bitumen work by Transfield Services, ARTC’s alliance partner in South Australia.

ARTC’s East West rail network presently has an 80 per cent market share of all land freight transport carried East- West.

The overall program for improved clearances for double stacking on the line from Parkes to Crystal Brook will be concluded at the latest by November 2007 with ARTC working with stakeholders to speed the approval and works process up.

26 July 2007

Contact : David Marchant 0419 733 201

Prue Regan 02 8259 0716 or 0419 297 004

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