Another milestone in the modernisation of the East West rail corridor has been reached with the completion of work on the extension of the existing passing loop at Hillgrange in South Australia.
Part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $4.5 million project involved extending the existing loop by 900 metres, laying new concrete sleepers and installing new signalling.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) received $42 million to build two new passing loops as well as extend four existing loop on the line between Crystal Brook in South Australia and Cootamundra in NSW – infrastructure able to cater for much longer trains of up to 1,800 metres (see attached map).
“In less than 18 months the ARTC has completed one of these projects, with work well advanced on the other five,” said Mr Albanese.
“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.
“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 and upgraded 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.