Ministerial Press Release:
Economic Stimulus: Passing loop at Keith upgraded

The modernisation of the East West rail corridor continues, with the construction of a new passing loop at Keith on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide now completed.

Funded as part of the Gillard Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $7.9 million project involved the laying of almost two kilometres of new track as well as the installation of mainline turnouts and new signalling technology.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) had received stimulus money to extend and upgrade seven passing loop on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide (attached map).

“In less than two years the ARTC has completed three of these projects, with work well advanced on four others,” said Mr Albanese.

“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the global recession, our unprecedented investment in the nation’s rail infrastructure is helping to build a modern, prosperous Australia.

“All up, we’re undertaking the biggest federally funded capital works program since the Fisher Labor Government built the transcontinental railway between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie almost a century ago.”

ARTC CEO David Marchant said the modernisation of the East West corridor was progressing well, with completion of the seven new longer passing loops expected to further cut transit times, expand the line’s capacity and make rail even more competitive.

“The upgrade of the passing loop at Keith is another important step forward for ARTC in improving the East West corridor, cutting transit times and increasing line capacity between the capital cities,” 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 over time will mean fewer trucks on our roads.”

Every 1,500 metre train can carry as much freight as 100 semi-trailers.

The project was delivered by ARTC Services Company in partnership with Transfield Services.

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