Work on the Wodonga Rail Bypass continues unabated in February with the commencement of $2.1 million in construction including five duplication bridges along the rail corridor.
Australian Rail Track Corporation Chief Executive Officer, David Marchant announced today that piling for the duplication bridges will commence this week in preparation for the laying of the bridge beds.
“Construction of concrete piles is the first step in constructing the five duplication bridges as part of the bypass. The base of the bridges will rest securely on these piles as the bridge proper is pieced together.”
“2009 will be an exciting year, not only for ARTC but for the Albury and Wodonga communities as we see the construction of the Wodonga Rail Bypass duplication hit full speed.”
The Wodonga Rail Bypass duplication is part of the overall upgrade of the Victorian interstate rail network by ARTC as a result of the lease agreement signed during 2008.
The original Interstate Infrastructure Lease between ARTC and the Victorian Government for the standard gauge rail network was due to expire in 2014.
The new agreement will extend the lease by 45 years to 2059.
David Marchant explained that this will allow ARTC to deliver significant infrastructure improvements to the Victorian standard gauge rail network.
“The length of this lease will allow sufficient time for ARTC to plan and implement practical, long term infrastructure improvements to the rail network in Victoria.”
“Specifically, the agreement will involve converting the North East broad gauge line between Seymour and Albury to standard gauge and the partial conversion of the Albion to Jacana Line to dual gauge.”
David Marchant said ARTC was well placed to manage the Victorian standard gauge rail network.
“ARTC has a proven track record of delivering important rail projects and managing rail infrastructure across Australia.”
“This new agreement will see valuable long term improvements in the Victorian standard gauge rail network that will breathe new life into freight rail in the State.”
“For ARTC it marks a significant step in improving the whole rail corridor from Melbourne through to Sydney.”
“Rail will be more than competitive again and as each 1500 metre long train can replace 100 semi trailers we could see fewer trucks on our major roads,”
David Marchant said.