Improvements to the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane rail corridor continue to gather steam with the upgrade of a major passing loop by Australian Rail Track Corporation at Johns River between Taree and Kempsey on the NSW North Coast.
Upgrade of the new passing loop was brought forward thanks to joint funding between ARTC and the Australian Government as part of its $1.2 billion Nation Building package injected in December 2008.
Specifically construction of the loop involved a new turnout configuration, new signalling and significant track alterations.
ARTC Chief Executive Officer David Marchant said the $1.1 million upgrade to the passing loop at Johns River builds on the work already completed and will result in increased capacity and shorter transit times between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
“ARTC with the support of the Australian Government is pushing forward with plans to upgrade the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne corridor and make rail transport more competitive.”
“The upgrade of 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 passing loops ARTC is constructing and upgrading 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.”
“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.
“ARTC is pleased the Australian Government has declared its support for the upgrade of rail infrastructure in Australia through the $1.2 billion investment last year. It is an important contribution to the resurgence of rail as a value adding asset to the Australian transport market,” he said.
ARTC partnered with TEJV, Downer EDI Works and Tiger Tech Pty Ltd to upgrade the passing loop and introduce new signalling.