The elimination of sharp bends along the Interstate Rail Network between Newcastle and the Queensland border is progressing on schedule with yet another section of track – this time between Rappville and Leeville – having now been straightened.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said once fully completed later this year, the $170 million North Coast Curve Easing Project will allow trains to run at higher speeds along this busy part of the Network, shaving almost an hour off transit times along Australia’s east coast.
“The entire project is on track to be completed on time and on budget – a tribute to the professionalism of the ARTC as well as the expertise of its contractors and the hundreds of workers delivering this upgrade,” said Mr Albanese.
“All up, the Gillard Labor Government is investing an unprecedented $3.4 billion to modernise the Interstate Rail Network, a capital works program which is more than half way through rebuilding over a third of this critical piece of infrastructure – some 3,771 kilometres of existing track – and laying a further 235 kilometres of new track.
“Building a faster, safer and more reliable rail network is central to our broader efforts to boost national productivity and reduce Australia’s carbon pollution.”
See attached map for more details about the upgrade of the Interstate Rail Network.
Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) CEO John Fullerton said the curve easing program was a key aspect of his organisation’s strategy to reduce transit times, increase capacity and build a highly reliable rail network.
“By allowing trains to travel at more consistent speeds, we can reduce transit time, increase capacity and build reliability into the North South rail link. Overall the project has the potential to cut almost an hour off the transit time between Sydney and Brisbane,” said Mr Fullerton.
“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 but also for the local community, with every 1,500 metre long train taking up to 100 trucks off local North Coast roads.”