Another milestone in the modernisation of the East West rail corridor has been reached with the completion of work on a new passing loop north of Cootamundra in NSW.
To provide trains with an extra overtaking opportunity and reduce delays across the network, the Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan provided $6.3 million to build a new 1,850 metre siding at Quandialla as well as install mainline turnouts and modern 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 longer trains.
“In less than two years the ARTC has completed all six projects and I congratulate them on a job well done,” said Mr Albanese.
“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the global recession, our Stimulus Plan has been building the modern rail infrastructure vital to our nation’s long term productivity and prosperity.
“All up, we’re undertaking the biggest federally funded capital works program since the Fisher Labor Government built the transcontinental railway between Port Augustus and Kalgoorlie almost a century ago.”
ARTC CEO David Marchant said the modernisation of the East West corridor was progressing well.
“The upgrade of the passing loop at Cootamundra is another important step forward for which will cut transit times, expand line capacity between the capital cities and make rail even more competitive,” Mr Marchant said.
“The investment we’re making 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.
ARTC Services Company delivered the projects in partnership with Transfield Services and UTS Rail.