- New ARTC Inland Rail CEO and ARTC Chairman visit bridge upgrade near Parkes
- Upgrades of four bridges on ARTC’s existing network to future Inland Rail standard
- $2 million investment by ARTC supports start of Inland Rail construction
Today Inland Rail leadership inspected work activities as $2 million of Inland Rail ‘future proofing’ upgrade works neared completion between Parkes and Narromine in NSW’s Central West.
In one of their first actions at the helm, recently appointed Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller and new ARTC Chairman Warren Truss joined ARTC Managing Director John Fullerton to view bridge upgrade works at Goonumbla.
The upgrade work will support ongoing delivery of Inland Rail when construction begins on the project’s Parkes to Narromine section in the middle of 2018, following the necessary environmental approvals.
“Inland Rail is fully funded with construction poised to begin this year,” Mr Wankmuller said.
“ARTC is getting on with the job. There is significant activity happening on the ground in NSW and I was keen to see the work first-hand.”
Mr Fullerton said ARTC took advantage of planned operational rail line shutdowns to build four new concrete bridges to Inland Rail engineering standards. The concrete bridges replace four timber top bridges that have reached their end of operational life on ARTC’s existing network.
“The concrete bridges are stronger, which will provide productivity benefits for the local rail network,” Mr Fullerton said.
“Importantly, once Inland Rail is approved and constructed, the bridges will support the longer, heavier and more efficient trains that will carry the lion’s share of domestic freight between Melbourne and Brisbane.
“The Inland Rail standard allows for a significant increase in axle loads, which means regional producers can get more of their payload on each train using the line. One 1.8km long train with ‘double stacked’ container capacity using Inland Rail will support the movement of about 2,500 tonnes of freight in a single trip, which will slash freight costs by around 30 per cent compared to road.
“That’s good for all Australians as it will lead to safer roads. It’s also good for Australian businesses as it boosts productivity and makes us more competitive as a nation. Locally, the Central West region will benefit by a $480-million injection into the economy through the Inland Rail project.
“Some of the nation’s biggest companies are supporting Inland Rail as our future freight solution and ARTC will deliver this benefit to all Australians for generations to come.”
Bridge upgrades at Goonumbla and Mickibri took place from 29 April to 1 May 2018; while another bridge at Goonumbla and at Tomingley West were upgraded last month. Further bridge upgrades were completed at Tomingley and Narwonah last year.
For more information about the project visit Inlandrail.com.au.
Media contact: Steve Mackenzie, ARTC, 0419 328 343
The Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail project involves upgrading the existing 106km of track. Overall, the $10 billion Inland Rail project takes advantage of 1200km of existing rail corridor and will involve the construction of around 500km of new track.
The transport and logistics sectors contribute 14.5 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with the supply chain worth around $150 billion a year. To compete in international markets, Australia needs to have competitive domestic freight transport and efficient supply chains.
Around 70 per cent of Australia’s population lives along the east coast, accounting for 78 per cent of all employment and generating 75 per cent of the nation’s GDP. Our population is expected to increase by 60 per cent over the next 40 years, and the volume of freight moving in Australia is predicted to double or even treble in the next 50 years.
Fast Facts about the Bridges
Works: 29 April – 1 May 2018
- Cost – $325,000
- Length – 9 metres
- Weight – 117 tonnes
- Number of culverts – 6
- Cost – $400,000
- Length – 6 metres
- Weight – 89 tonnes
- Number of culverts – 4
Works: 25 March – 28 March 2018
- Goonumbla 1
- Cost – $750,000
- Length – 21 metres
- Weight – 228 tonnes
- Number of culverts – 14
- Tomingley West
- Cost – $525,000
- Length – 15 metres
- Weight – 172 tonnes
- Number of culverts – 10
Works and local content
There are expected to be about 35-40 personnel working across two bridge sites at a time i.e. 15-20 people per site as two bridges will be constructed concurrently in two stages. The work will be undertaken by the ARTC’s Hunter Valley business which is based in Broadmeadows, NSW. The concrete culverts are supplied by Concrete Industries based in Teralba (Newcastle region).