Progress continues on upgrading the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane rail corridor with Australian Rail Track Corporation completing of a new 11.6km long passing loop at Bomen NSW.
ARTC invested $15.3 million in constructing the Bomen passing loop which will allow trains to pass each other at regular speed. This will reduce the travel time and increase the length of trains able to travel on the network. Trains are now able to enter and leave the passing loops at 80km/hr up from the normal loop speed of 40km/hr.
The length of trains can increase to 1800m from the present maximum of 1500m allowing more goods to be transported.
Construction of the passing loop involved the laying of 11,600m of rail and 8,700 concrete sleepers.
ARTC Chief Executive Officer David Marchant said the new passing loop builds on the work already completed and will result in shorter transit times between Sydney and Melbourne.
“ARTC’s drive to upgrade the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor and make rail transport more competitive continues unabated. This passing loop is another important milestone in the north-south strategy to cut the transit time from Melbourne to Sydney to as low as 10 hours 40 minutes and 15 hours 35 minutes between Sydney and Brisbane,” Mr Marchant said.
“The Bomen passing lane is the fourth of five passing loops on the NSW side of the border, which allows trains to pass each other at speed rather than one standing idle in a siding while waiting for the train travelling in the opposite direction to pass. This follows the successful completion of passing loops at Uranquinty, Yerong Creek and Gerogery.”
“The passing lanes ARTC is constructing along the rail corridor, the new concrete sleepers, and the signal upgrades are, combined, perhaps the biggest rail project since the track was originally laid,” Mr Marchant said.
“The investment in this corridor upgrade will see rail becoming competitive, and as each 1500 metre long train can replace 100 semi trailers we could see less trucks on our major roads,” Mr Marchant said.
“This program has been an economic boost to regional and rural Australia with new employment opportunities created, ARTC local purchases and equipment hire and the local production of concrete sleepers.”