The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) report they have put the finishing touches on the final stage of the North East Rail Gauge Standardisation Project, bringing all the new signalling of the East and West lines between Seymour and Wodonga online.
The $135 million NERGS project involved the gauge conversion of the existing broad gauge track to standard gauge with new concrete sleepers to form the new ‘West Line’. New turnouts at Benalla and Seymour allow trains to use both East and West lines.
Flipping the switch on the signalling on the final section between Benalla and Wodonga brought the entire new West line section between Seymour and Wodonga into operation.
The NERGS project has seen approximately 200km of broad gauge track converted to standard gauge to form the ‘West Line’ between Seymour and Wodonga.
The project involved the insertion of new rail and sleepers; multiple bridge upgrades and new passenger platforms at Seymour, Avenel, Violet Town and Euroa.
ARTC CEO John Fullerton said the achievement of the crews working on the NERGS project was an outstanding effort and testament to ARTC’s commitment to the resurgence of rail freight in Australia.
“As demand on Australia’s transport logistics network increases, rail must step up to the plate as a value adding link in the transport market,” he said.
“The concrete re-sleepering, additional passing lanes, loops and signalling upgrades on the North South line have already seen significant time savings on our timetables which means the more efficient and faster transport of goods between major capital cities.”
“Rail is becoming more competitive and as each 1500 metre long train can replace 100 semi trailers we could see fewer trucks on our major roads,” Mr Fullerton said.
The project was completed in conjunction with the Southern Improvement Alliance.