The unprecedented modernisation of the nation’s rail network has today reached another major milestone, with work on the upgrade of a key section of the main line between Sydney and Melbourne now complete.
Funded from the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $45 million upgrade of the line between Albury and Seymour in Victoria involved replacing all the existing timber sleepers with 225,000 new concrete sleepers.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Minister, Anthony Albanese, congratulated the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for moving so quickly to put the Government’s economic stimulus funding to work creating jobs and upgrading the nation’s rail infrastructure.
“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the current global recession, our Economic Stimulus Plan is building the modern rail infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term prosperity,” said Mr Albanese.
“The Rudd Labor Government will invest more in rail over the next 12 months than our predecessors did during their 12 years in office.”
The multi-million project directly employed 120 people, took four months to complete and used sleepers produced by Austrak’s Wagga Wagga factory.
ARTC CEO David Marchant explained the upgrade of the line between Albury and Seymour would improve the overall efficiency on the interstate network.
“Concrete sleepers in themselves may not sound significant but they will greatly improve the track’s capacity and reduced transit times,” said Mr Marchant.
“Their use will also reduce the need for temporary speed restrictions in the summer months. Whereas wooden sleepers tend to buckle on extremely hot days, concrete sleepers hold the rail firmly in place.
“The upgrade is good news for the wider community as well. Not only will in create jobs and provide an immediate boost to the local economy, it will also allow more freight to be moved by rail which overtime will lead to fewer trucks on our roads.”
One 1,500-metre train can replace around 100 trucks.
Moksha Watts ( Mr Albanese’s Office ) 0413 389 070