Australian Rail Track Corporation today signed a deal with Rocla Concrete Sleepers to produce 500,000 brand new prestressed concrete sleepers to be used on resleepering projects as part of the equity investment announced by the Australian Government in the May Budget.
Specifically the new concrete sleepers will be used as part of the concrete resleepering of the line between Broken Hill and Parkes, designed to increase capacity and reduce transit time.
The rail line between Broken Hill and Parkes has historically suffered from poor ride quality to the extent that it has affected rail’s ability to gain traffic. The line also suffers from heat related speed restrictions.
The consistency and strength of concrete sleepers will resolve these two issues.
The concrete sleepers will be produced at Rocla’s factories at Grafton which will employ 26 people and Braemar which will employ 50 people for a 14 month period.
ARTC and Rocla already have a strong working partnership with Rocla supplying concrete sleepers for ARTC’s massive $2.4 billion upgrade of the North South line.
ARTC Chief Executive Officer, David Marchant explained that while the production of the concrete sleepers is essential for the Parkes to the Broken Hill freight rail projects, the work will also benefit the Grafton and Braemar communities.
“ARTC is proud to partner with a local company as we hit the ground running with the upgrade of rail infrastructure between Broken Hill and Parkes. The jobs this work will generate will be a significant boost to Grafton and Braemar.”
“The new sleepers are an essential element in ARTC’s strategy to increase the capacity and reduce transit time between Broken Hill and Parkes.”
Rocla Sleepers Manager, Ric Lewtas explained how the new deal will boost their operations.
“The new work to produce sleepers for ARTC’s Broken Hill to Parkes project will allow Rocla to employ more people at the Grafton and Braemar factories.”
“The announcement of the project will also mean a boost to employment in Grafton and Braemar. Not only through Rocla’s operations, but also the trickle down employment affect for many of our suppliers. This sort of knock-on employment is vital in regional areas,” Mr Lewtas said.