New passing loop between Broken Hill and Parkes another boost for freight rail

Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) has continued its drive to upgrade the National interstate standard gauge with the extension of a passing loop at Ivanhoe NSW between Parkes and Broken Hill.

The project cost around $5.6 million and involved ARTC constructing one kilometre of new track with 1850m ‘standing room’; long enough to cater for 1800m trains.

The loop required the laying of new rail, signalling, and mainline turnouts.

The new extended 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 the extension of the passing loop at Ivanhoe will lead to increased capacity and shorter transit times on the East West rail corridor.

“ARTC is pushing forward with our plans to upgrade the East West corridor and make rail transport more competitive.  The extension of the passing loop at Ivanhoe is another important step forward in improving the East West corridor, cutting transit times and increasing line capacity between capital cities,” Mr Marchant said.

“As Australia recovers from the Global Financial Crisis, the trucking industry, by itself, won’t be able to handle the increase in demand for the transport of goods, especially on long haul routes.  It is therefore vital that the interstate rail network steps up to the plate as a value adding asset in the national transport logistics framework.”

“This investment in the East West corridor is not only good news for the Australian economy, but also for the wider community.  The development of the interstate rail network will see rail becoming more competitive, and as each 1500 metre long train can replace 100 semi-trailers, we could see fewer trucks on our major roads,” Mr Marchant said.

The work was undertaken by ARTC Services Company along with Alliance Partner Transfield Services.

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