Construction has officially begun on Inland Rail, with a formal ground breaking ceremony in Parkes this week.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Michael McCormack turned the ceremonial first sod alongside executives from the Australian Rail Track Corporation, representatives from construction contractor INLink, and other dignitaries, on Thursday morning.
“This is truly a once-in-a-generation project and I’m proud to be part of this historic event, marking the formal start of construction,” Mr. McCormack said.
“Inland Rail is game-changing infrastructure. It will deliver jobs, not just during the construction phase, but permanent jobs through increased freight. Farmers will be able to move food and fibre between Melbourne and Brisbane, in larger volumes and more cost-efficiently.”
“When Inland Rail is operational, Parkes will be an important hub with double-stacked, 1,800-metre trains connecting west to Perth and Adelaide and along the east coast between Melbourne and Brisbane,” he said.
“Australia’s rail system has always been essential to the freight supply chain and once built, Inland Rail will enhance the national freight rail network.”
Inland Rail Chief Executive Richard Wankmuller agreed.
“With Inland Rail we will have a more resilient rail network,” Mr. Wankmuller said.
“Inland Rail is the safe, sustainable, integrated solution that will help address Australia’s current freight inefficiencies.”