Inland rail: Here’s what you need to know about the $10 billion project
What is Inland Rail?
Inland Rail is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia.
By 2030, Australia’s domestic freight volume is projected to grow by 80%.
Currently, three-quarters of all freight is transported by road and one-quarter by rail.
It will connect Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
It comprises of 13 individual projects (seven in New South Wales, five in Queensland and one in Victoria) and will span more than 1,700km.
The Federal Government has committed to $10 billion to building inland rail.
The project commenced in 2017 and will be delivered over 10 years with the first train expected to operate in 2025.
Who is delivering Inland Rail?
The Australian Government through the Australian Rail Track Corporation ARTC is delivering the multibillion-dollar infrastructure in partnership with the private sector. ARTC was created in 1997 as a ‘one-stop shop’ for all train operators.
What are the benefits of Inland Rail?
Inland Rail will improve the supply chain for agricultural and other regional industries in Victoria, New South Wales and southern Queensland.
The new rail route will be up to 10 hours faster than the existing coastal rail network via Sydney. It will be faster, cheaper and more reliable to move goods around the country and the world.
Approximately 16,000 jobs will be created through construction and once the rail is operational there will be over 700 jobs.For every $1 the Government invests in Inland Rail, the rail infrastructure project will deliver a return to the Australian economy of $2.62 boosting Australia’s GDP by $16bn over the next 50 years.
There will be a significant reduction in road congestion and carbon emissions and it will lower freight costs for consumers.
How will Inland Rail be constructed?
Tottenham (VIC) to Albury (NSW)
This section of Inland Rail is planned along 305km of existing rail corridor from metropolitan Melbourne to the Victoria-NSW border at Albury-Wodonga.
This project will see enhancements of existing structures to provide increased clearances along the rail corridor.
The enhancement works are required to accommodate double-stack freight trains of 1,800 metres in length to be run on the track.
There are 43 sites where enhancement work needs to be undertaken including:
The T2A project is nearing completion of the Project Feasibility Stage which involves investigations and field studies and evolution of engineering design with a view to confirming a preferred solution for each of the sites by mid to late 2019.
New South Wales
Albury to Illabo (NSW)
Albury to Illabo (A2I) is an enhancement to 185km of existing rail corridor from the VIC/NSW border to Illabo in regional NSW.
This project will see enhancements of existing structures to increase height clearances and track upgrades along the rail corridor to accommodate double-stacked trains of 1,800m in length.
The project is in the design phase of the Project Feasibility Stage. This phase involves undertaking further environmental and technical investigations, hydrology studies and engagement with communities and landowners.
Illabo to Stockinbingal (NSW)
Illabo to Stockinbingal (I2S) will comprise 37km of new rail track and is currently in the Feasibility Stage.
Stockinbingal to Parkes (NSW)
The S2P project is an enhancement of roughly 173km of the existing rail corridor.
Planned works include:
- replacing the Lachlan River rail bridge in Forbes
- increasing vertical clearance under the Wyndham Avenue road bridge in Forbes
- modifications to structures and rail tracks within the rail corridor
- new passing loop north of Daroobalgie Road.
The S2P project is in the project feasibility phase.
Parkes to Narromine (NSW)
This part of the Project will see an upgrade of 98.4km of existing rail track and addition of 5.3km of new rail near Parkes.
It includes a full rebuild of the rail tracks, rail formation and supporting structures in the existing rail corridor.
Construction on P2N is progressing. A joint venture between BMD Group and Fulton Hogan called INLInk has been engaged to build P2N.
Narromine to Narrabri (NSW)
This is the longest project within Inland Rail comprising approximately 300km of new track.
The project is now in the Project Feasibility stage.
Narrabri to North Star (NSW)
This will be an upgrade of approximately 188km of track within the existing rail corridor and construction of approximately 1.6km of a new rail corridor.
The N2NS project is progressing through environmental approvals with approval expected in late 2019.
North Star to NSW/QLD Border
The NS2B project is approximately 39km in length and will consist of upgrading approximately 25km of non-operational rail corridor and 14km of new track.
Currently, the project is undergoing the required environmental investigations and project feasibility assessments.
NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie
The NSW/QLD Border to Gowrie (B2G) section comprises approximately 146km of new dual gauge track and 78km of upgraded track from the NSW/QLD border, near Yelarbon, to Gowrie Junction, north west of Toowoomba in Queensland.
Gowrie to Helidon (QLD)
This project comprises 26km of new dual gauge track between Gowrie (north-west of Toowoomba) and Helidon (east of Toowoomba).
G2H will be delivered under the Gowrie to Kagaru Public Private Partnership and will include a new 6.5km tunnel to create an efficient route through the steep terrain of the Toowoomba Range.
Helidon to Calvert (QLD)
This project comprises a new dual gauge rail line connecting Helidon (east of Toowoomba) with Calvert (near Ipswich).
The 47km section will include a new 1.1km tunnel to create an efficient route through the steep terrain of the Little Liverpool Range.
The project includes:
- 47.7km of new dual gauge track
- 1.1km long tunnel
- 4 viaducts (1.5km in total length)
- 20 bridges (1 km in total length)
- 6 grade separations
- 4 crossing loops
Calvert to Kagaru (QLD)
This section involves the design and construction of:
- approximately 53km of new dual gauge track
- 1.1km tunnel through the Teviot Range
- 15 grade separations
- 13 river bridges
- up to four crossing loops.
Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton (QLD)
This section of the Inland Rail Programme consists of enhancements to, as well as commissioning of, dual gauge operations along the existing interstate track between K2ARB.
Construction Update – September 2019
Track work is officially complete on the first section of Inland Rail in Parkes, NSW.
Trains will soon be operational on the ‘North West Connection’, which will eventually form the important link between Inland Rail and the interstate east-west line from Sydney to Perth.
Construction Update – August 2021
Construction along the Narabri to North Star Phase 1 project is well underway. From May to July, contractors have been working on:
- Construction of the temporary workers’ accommodation facility.
- Continuing works on the Gil Gil Creek, Gurley Creek, Croppa Creek and Yallaroi bridge replacements.
- Laydown area construction to begin in Bellata.
- Construction occurring between Penneys Road and Gurley Bridge, and Tycannah to Tapscott Road include track stripping, excavation of existing formation material, new culvert installation, lime stabilisation of new layers and capping.
- Works occurring between Camurra and North Star include track stripping, excavation of existing formation material, new culvert installation and lime stabilisation of new layers.
- Establishing and seting up a satellite office in Croppa Creek.
- Delivery of culverts at Gurley..
- Surveying of alignment.
Last updated: 26.08.2021
All information sourced from:
YouTube: Inland Rail
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Inland Rail reaches a key milestone as major construction is completed for the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project.
Inland Rail and McConnell Dowell to replace the Seymour-Avenel Road bridge which is too low for double-stacked freight trains.