The Inland Rail project has taken an important step forward with the beginning of major construction works on the Stockinbingal to Parkes section in regional New South Wales.
Inland Rail marked the occasion with a launch event at Forbes Railway Station, celebrating the start of major construction after a thorough planning, engagement, and design process.
Inland Rail is Australia's largest freight rail infrastructure project and will better connect businesses, manufacturers and producers to national and global markets and create new opportunities for Australian industries and regional communities during construction and beyond.
The Australian Government is taking a staged approach to delivering Inland Rail, with construction between Beveridge in Victoria and Parkes in New South Wales prioritised for completion by 2027. The delivery of these sections will enable Inland Rail to connect to existing rail networks between Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and the Illawarra via Parkes and Narromine.
Martinus Rail has been awarded a $403.5 million contract to design and construct enhancement works on the Stockinbingal to Parkes and Albury to Illabo sections of Inland Rail.
The Stockinbingal to Parkes works will include bridge upgrades and track lowering in Forbes to create the required height and width clearances for double stacked trains, with an additional crossing loop to be constructed at Daroobalgie. The project has been recognised for its sustainable design practices, receiving an 'Excellent' Design rating from the Infrastructure Sustainability Council.
Inland Rail has already completed the Parkes to Narromine section in New South Wales with major construction works also underway on the Beveridge to Albury section in Victoria.
Inland Rail is already supporting thousands of jobs for New South Wales. More than 4,080 jobs have been created for local and First Nations people and more than $380 million has been spent in regional economies, with more regional benefits expected to flow in coming years.
"The start of works on the Stockinbingal to Parkes section is a key milestone for Inland Rail, highlighting that we are getting on with the job of completing Beveridge in Victoria to Parkes in New South Wales by 2027," Interim Chief Executive of Inland Rail Rebecca Pickering said.
"We will continue to engage strongly with local suppliers and businesses across regional New South Wales and are very excited about the benefits that we can bring to local economies as we deliver these works.
"As part of the Inland Rail program, $2.7 billion in contracts has already been awarded to over 400 suppliers and businesses across the country, with more local businesses between Albury and Parkes to benefit from the new opportunities and supporting jobs."
The company tasked with constructing and designing the project is very excited to get the new section underway.
"Martinus is honoured to be entrusted to deliver the Inland Rail Stockinbingal to Parkes project," CEO and Managing Director of Martinus Rail Treaven Martinus said.
"We are proud to play our part to enhance this vital infrastructure.
"The commencement of work marks a significant stride towards a more connected and prosperous future for Australia's freight industry. Our dedicated team is committed to delivering these crucial infrastructure upgrades, safely, efficiently and to the highest standards.
"Inland Rail is more than just a rail project; it's a promise of a brighter future for Australia," Mr Martinus said.
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