The multi-million dollar project to eliminate sharp bends on the Interstate Rail Network between Newcastle and the Queensland border has reached another milestone with the realignment of the track completed at two more sites.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said by straightening the line so trains can safely use it at higher speeds, the $170 million North Coast Curve Easing Project will shave almost an hour off transit times along Australia’s east coast.
“The realignment is now complete between Mindaribba and Paterson as well as between Nambucca Heads and Raleigh.”
“The Gillard Labor Government is investing an unprecedented $3.4 billion to modernise the Interstate Rail Network – a capital works program which by 2014 will have rebuilt more than a third of this critical piece of infrastructure.
“This is a key project which will boost national productivity as well as providing a safer, more reliable network.”
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton said that the curve easing projects were critical to the organisation’s strategy to reduce transit times.
“ARTC’s customers and stakeholders tell us that one of the improvements they want to see is increased reliability from the North South rail link. This upgrade is part of delivering that reliability through reduced transit times.
“Other benefits of the curve easing programme will be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a reduction in above and below rail maintenance costs and the overall improved competitiveness of rail freight.
“This is not only good news for the economy through the more efficient movement of freight, but also for the local community. With one 1500m train being equal to 100 semi-trailers, we will see fewer big trucks on our North Coast roads,” Mr Fullerton said.
See attached maps for more details about the extensive upgrade of the Interstate Rail Network currently occurring both on the NSW North Coast as well as nationwide.