Australian Rail Track Corporation’s investment in the rail corridor between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne continues unabated with the opening of a new passing loop near the Victorian town of Seymour between Albury and Melbourne.
The new passing loop at Seymour represents the completion of another milestone in the $140 million North East Rail Gauge Standardisation (NERGS) Project. It involved the construction of around 3 kilometres of standard gauge track connecting into the existing standard gauge mainline using 80km/h high speed turnouts.
The loop will enable trains to pass each other efficiently as one train enters the loop and waits for a short period while the other train passes at regular speed.
ARTC Chief Executive Officer David Marchant explained that new passing loop near Seymour builds on the large number of projects already completed on the North South rail corridor and will result in increased capacity and shorter transit times between Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
“ARTC has worked hard over the last 24 months to upgrade the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne corridor and make rail transport more competitive. 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 extensive programme of upgrades on the North South rail link has already yielded good results, with new timetables reflecting the reduction in transit times and increases in capacity.”
“The passing loops ARTC is constructing 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,” Mr Marchant said.
“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,” he said.
The work was undertaken by ARTC’s partners South Improvement Alliance.