The modernisation of the East West rail corridor continues unabated, with a multi-million upgrade of the passing loop at Coomandook on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide now completed.
Part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $4.5 million project involved extending the existing loop to cater for longer trains as well as laying new rail and sleepers and installing new signalling technology.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said in addition to the one near Coomandook, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) received economic stimulus money to extend and upgrade another six passing loop on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide (see attached map).
“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the global recession, our Economic Stimulus Plan has been building the modern rail infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term productivity and prosperity,” said Mr Albanese.
“The Rudd Labor Government is investing more in rail over the next 12 months than our predecessors did during their 12 years in office.”
ARTC CEO David Marchant said the modernisation of the East West corridor was progressing well, with completion of the seven new longer passing loops expected to further cut transit times, expand the line’s capacity and make rail even more competitive.
“As Australia recovers from fallout from the global recession we’re determined to make the interstate rail network a value adding asset within the national transport logistics system. Already 80 per cent of the freight that moves between Australia’s east and west coasts travels by rail,” said Mr Marchant.
“The investment we’re making is also been good news for the wider community. Not only has it create jobs in the short term, it will also allow more freight to be transported by rail – which overtime means fewer trucks on our roads.”
Every 1,500 metre train can carry as much freight as 100 semi-trailers.
The ARTC delivered the projects in partnership with Transfield Services.