Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) has announced the completion of the second major crossing loop project in its North Coast Rail Line Improvement Program with the recent completion of the crossing loop extension at Braunstone between Coffs Harbour and Grafton on the Main North Coast Line.” David Marchant CEO of ARTC said today.
“The provision of a series of longer crossing loops on the North Coast Line to cater for 1500 metre long trains offers freight train operators increased benefits for rail freight transport through the efficiencies of running longer trains and reduced transit times.” Mr Marchant said.
The longer crossing loops permit more efficient operations by allowing 1500 metre long freight trains travelling in either the same or opposite direction to pass each other on the single track North Coast Line.
Construction commenced on the new Braunstone crossing loop in November 2006 and included extending the current loop from 894 metres to 1695 metres, upgrading the existing maintenance siding to meet current standards, extra facilities for train crew changeovers and the provision of an ARTC access road.
ARTC’s North Coast Improvement Program to upgrade the Sydney- Brisbane rail corridor involves constructing or extending 14 crossing loops and upgrading 18 existing crossing loops between Maitland and Brisbane to improve entry and exit speeds and enable them to accommodate 1500 metre long trains.
The major upgrade of the North Coast Line also includes replacing or rehabilitating five bridges and the installation of over 500,000 new concrete sleepers which are being manufactured at Rocla’s factory in Grafton.
Track & Civil work is being carried out under ARTC’s 3 year $200 million North Coast Improvement Program by Transport Express JV, a joint venture between Laing O’Rourke and Balfour Beatty. Signalling upgrades on the North Coast Line are being carried out by Ansaldo – STS.
On completion of the North Coast Improvement Program it is estimated that transit times for freight trains will be slashed by almost four hours between Sydney and Brisbane.
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