Another key milestone in the modernisation of the East West rail corridor has been reached with a newly built passing loop becoming operational from today.
Part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $4.5 million project constructed a new 1,850 metre passing loop and two turnouts east of the township of Cook – a task that required the laying of 3,000 new concrete sleepers and four kilometres of new track.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) received $23 million to build four new passing loops and extend an existing loop on the line between Adelaide and Kalgoorlie – infrastructure able to cater for much longer trains of up to 1,500 metres (see attached map).
“In a little over 12 months the ARTC has completed three projects, with work currently underway on another two,” said Mr Albanese.
“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during last year’s global recession, our Economic Stimulus Plan has been building the modern rail infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term productivity and prosperity.
“In fact, the Rudd Labor Government will invest more in rail over the next 12 months than our predecessors did during their 12 years in office.”
ARTC CEO David Marchant said the Corporation is pushing forward with its plans to upgrade the East West corridor and make rail more competitive, with the new passing loops expected to cut transit time and expand capacity on the line between Perth and Adelaide.
“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 in the East West corridor 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.