Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has appointed SMEC and Arup to provide technical support for a proposed rail freight corridor between Melbourne and Brisbane.
The joint venture will take on a technical and engineering advisory role in the development of the Inland Rail corridor – a 1,730-kilometre line between Melbourne and Brisbane, bypassing Sydney.
The line will require the construction of 600 kilometres of new railway and 400 kilometres of track upgrades.
Simon O’Hana, the joint venture’s project director, said: “It’s not often you get an opportunity to lead such a talented team on a strategically important and significant piece of national transport infrastructure.
“With the freight load increasing in Australia, we need sustainable, smart and safe solutions that reduce the demand on roads and congestion in and out of our cities.”
Darren Chester, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, said: “Now, almost 100 years after the Trans-Australian Railway was completed, it is time to join our nation from north to south and build the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail. It is time to address eastern Australia’s freight challenge.
“Inland Rail is a game-changer for Australia as it is being designed to provide a dedicated Melbourne to Brisbane freight link that is reliable and provides a less than 24 hour transit time at an attractive price, enabling the market to move goods when the market wants.”