The one millionth concrete rail sleeper has rolled off the Wagga Wagga production line today destined to be used as part of the ongoing upgrade of the interstate freight rail network by Australian Rail Track Corporation.
The one millionth sleeper forms part of the production schedule for current rail projects on the Southern rail corridor by Austrak.
Once these projects are complete, Austrak will start producing sleepers for the new projects made possible by the Australian Government’s $1.2 billion injection into the interstate freight rail network
The Government’s investment will see a suite of rail upgrade projects commence in 2009 including the upgrade of the entire North South corridor between Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane.
Austrak’s Wagga Wagga factory employs more than 65 staff and the upgrade of the interstate freight rail network will allow operations to keep constantly working at capacity right through until November 2009.
ARTC Chief Executive Officer, David Marchant explained that while the production of the concrete sleepers is essential for projects on the Southern corridor, the work will also benefit the Wagga community.
“The one millionth sleeper from Austrak’s Wagga factory is testament to how ARTC’s upgrade of the interstate rail network is benefitting local communities through direct and indirect employment.”
“The concrete sleepers being produced out of Austrak Wagga will predominantly be used on the upgrade of the Southern section of the North South corridor.”
Austrak General Manager David Priddle said production of the one millionth sleeper was an important milestone for the Wagga Wagga factory, which commenced operations in mid-2007.
“Since commencing production 18 months ago, our workforce at the factory has continued to break production and quality benchmarks while still maintaining an exemplary safety record,” David said.
“Although we’re operating within a very tight schedule, our processes have become so streamlined that we are one month ahead of schedule,” he said
“Although most of our staff were initially inexperienced with our processes, their dedication to the success of the project combined with focussed training and Austrak’s rigorous procedural and quality systems have created a new benchmark for sleeper factory operations, product quality, delivery and client satisfaction. The team has done an excellent job and they should be proud of their achievement.” David said.