As the Tottenham to Albury section of Inland Rail continues to progress, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has commenced an Expressions of Interest process to engage two companies to complete the early phase of design and construction work in a procurement process known as Early Contractor Involvement.
The Victorian section of Inland Rail is one of 13 connected projects that will enhance supply chains and complete the backbone of the national rail freight network, offering a transit time of 24 hours or less for freight trains between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
ARTC’s General Manager Projects Victoria Ed Walker said the Tottenham to Albury project involves designing and rebuilding bridges, associated civil works and track lowering at 12 sites, as well as the delivery of overhead wiring, signal gantry installations and track slews along the existing North East rail line from Beveridge (north of Melbourne) to Albury.
“We’re asking contractors to express their interest in the works, especially those with experience delivering a program of complex road and rail infrastructure in regional locations, with a value in excess of $200 million,” Mr Walker said.
“Inland Rail will cut over ten hours and 200 kilometres off the transit from Victoria to Queensland for freight, and provides a direct connection to Queensland, bypassing the heavily constrained route through Sydney and the circuitous route via the NSW North Coast.
“Not only does Inland Rail deliver a freight solution to support the country’s future, but it is critical to keep the national economy moving, particularly in regional areas along the alignment by supporting businesses and keeping locals employed,” said Mr Walker.
“A recent EY report into Inland Rail Regional Opportunities estimated that Inland Rail will boost the Victorian Gross Regional Product by up to $4.6 billion over a 50-year operating period, on top of the positive impacts during the construction period.
“Key industries such as food processing, timber/paper manufacturing and defence manufacturing are set to benefit from more connected rail freight links and efficiency from the project.”