Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has put the finishing touches on Stage 3b of the North East Rail Gauge Standardisation (NERGS) Project today, with all new signalling of the East and West lines between Seymour and Benalla brought on line.
Stage 3b of the $140 million NERGS project involved the gauge conversion of the existing broad gauge track to standard gauge with new concrete sleepers to form the new ‘West Line’. New turnouts at Benalla and Seymour allow trains to use both East and West lines.
Flipping the switch on the signalling brought the new West line section between Seymour and Benalla into operation.
The overall NERGS project will see approximately 90km of broad gauge track converted to standard gauge to form the ‘West Line’ between Seymour and Wodonga.
The project has seen new rail and sleepers; multiple bridge upgrades and new passenger platforms at Seymour, Avenel, Violet Town and Euroa.
ARTC CEO David Marchant said the achievement of the crews working on Stage 3b of the NERGS project was an outstanding effort and testament to ARTC’s commitment to the resurgence of freight rail in Australia.
“The upgrade of the North South rail corridor between Sydney and Melbourne is the largest since the line was originally laid and one of the most important infrastructure improvements for the Australian economy.”
“As demand on Australia’s transport logistics network increases, rail must step up to the plate as a value adding link in the transport market,” he said.
“The concrete re-sleepering, additional passing lanes, loops and signalling upgrades on the North South line have already seen significant time savings on our timetables which means the more efficient and faster transport of goods between major capital cities.”
“Rail is 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 project was completed in conjunction with the Southern Improvement Alliance.