On Tuesday the final golden clip was hammered into place on the rail line to signify completion.
Contractors BMD Constructions and Fulton Hogan took on the project which involved the upgrade of 98 kilometres of existing rail track. Works also included building five kilometres of new track near Parkes to provide a better connection to the East – West interstate line.
Deputy Prime Minister and member for Riverina Michael McCormack, who was joined at the Parkes-Narromine section milestone event by ministerial colleague and Member for Parkes Mark Coulton declared the completion as a significant and momentous day.
“Inland Rail is nation-building and today recognises a great milestone in this transformational infrastructure,” he said.
“The corridor of commerce we are building with Inland Rail stretches 1,700 kilometres from Melbourne to Brisbane. We are turning steel into stimulus as we lay the tracks that will deliver jobs and opportunity.”
McCormack said the project had invested $25 million in ballast and capping (800,000 tonnes) from companies based in Parkes, Calvani Crushing and Ausrock Quarries.
Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton said today’s milestone showed Inland Rail was happening and will become a vital part of the network required to meet Australia’s growing freight transport task for the next 50 years.
“Inland Rail will present new growth opportunities for farmers, producers and manufacturers in the regional areas of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria,” Coulton said.
He said the project has seen contribution from 760 locals with $109.7 million spent at local businesses.
The next step in the project is Narrabri to North Star. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year.
Works will involve major upgrades to 186 kilometres of the existing rail corridor with construction of around 2.3 kilometres of a new rail corridor.
In December 2019 three contractors were shortlisted for section one of this project, they were:
- Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd
- RailFirst – a joint venture between Downer EDI and Seymour White
- Trans4m Rail – a joint venture between Rhomberg Rail Australia, BGC Contracting and SEE Civil
The successful contractor is expected to be announced soon.
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