Australian Rail Track Corporation has today announced the project consultants as part of the study commissioned by the Australian Government to determine a preferred alignment and the likely success of a multi-billion dollar standard gauge inland railway between Melbourne and Brisbane.
ARTC has commissioned consultants to examine technical issues relating to the inland railway, both engineering and environmental; and its financial and economic benefits and costs.
The Lead Technical Consultant is Parsons Brinckerhoff with Connell Wagner and Halcrow; and the Financial and Economic Consultant is PricewaterhouseCoopers with ACIL Tasman and SAHA.
The Rudd Labor Government commissioned ARTC to conduct the study – setting aside up to $15 million to ensure this important work is completed in the second half of 2009.
In developing a detailed route alignment, the ARTC will generally follow the far western sub-corridor identified by the North-South Rail Corridor Study.
The ARTC study will build upon this earlier work and determine the optimum alignment of any future inland railway after taking into account the needs of potential users as well as possible engineering, planning and environmental considerations.
As well as determining the route alignment, the ARTC study will provide both the Government and private sector with information that will help guide their future investment decisions, including likely demand and an estimated construction cost.
Importantly, the study will provide the Government with a basis for evaluating private financing options for part or the entire project.
Given the level of interest in the study, the ARTC will undertake thorough consultations with all stakeholders, including state governments, industry, local government and major rail customers.