Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and local MP and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton have today inspected the site of the recently announced Narrabri to Turrawan line upgrade.
Mr McCormack said the Australian Government last month committed $44.7 million for the Australian Rail Track Corporation to upgrade 35 kilometres of the Narrabri to Turrawan Line between the Hunter Valley Coal Network and Inland Rail.
“We are investing in this project to greatly improve the quality and capacity of this crucial rail connection, better linking northern New South Wales, Inland Rail and the Port of Newcastle,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This upgrade will allow longer and heavier freight trains from Northern NSW – transporting food and fibre – to access the Newcastle and Sydney Ports.
“Greater volumes of freight moved on each train will reduce transport costs and make Australian exports more competitive.
“The project will replace steel and timber sleepers with heavy-duty concrete ones, upgrade critical level crossings and improve the rail quality on the Narrabri Coal Junction to Turrawan section, as well as the Turrawan to Narrabri North section.
“Our strong investments in region-defining rail projects like this are all about getting our farmers’ world-leading produce to market.
“The Australian Government remains focused on creating jobs, backing businesses and driving our nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to get funding flowing and shovels in the ground on road and rail projects under our record $110 billion infrastructure plan.
“This project will do that by fostering further economic growth, delivering the confidence producers and businesses need to expand and diversify, creating jobs and encouraging local investment to provide an ongoing boost to local communities and the economy.”
Federal Member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said the project will enhance the region’s supply chain and support local industries.
“The new load specifications are directly compatible with Inland Rail, meaning the Narrabri to Turrawan Line upgrade will provide a boost for the local farming community and other businesses using the rail line,” Minister Coulton said.
“During my recent visit to the Port of Newcastle, it was clear to see the many benefits of our freight rail investments, so it’s with great excitement we inspect the upgrade site in Narrabri today.
“I’m proud to be part of a Government that is investing in regional communities and creating the environment for regions to grow and prosper, including the North West.”
The project will deliver an improved corridor capable of 25 Tonne Axle Load (TAL) trains going at 80 km/h to replace the current ageing, 20.5 TAL track.