Australia’s minister for transport has announced plans to replace two timber bridges in preparation of the new Inland Rail freight line.
The federal government will invest $1.3 million on building two new concrete bridges at Tomingley West and Narwonah, New South Wales, on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) national rail network.
Work will begin in May to bring the structures, which will be part of the Inland Rail route, in line with Inland Rail engineering specification.
Inland Rail, a 1,700km freight line that will connect Melbourne and Brisbane, is designed to make rail more competitive with road freight and meet a growing demand for freight on the east coast of Australia.
Significantly, the construction of Inland Rail will mean trains from south east Queensland will be able to reach Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth without going through Sydney.
Announcing the project, federal Minister for transport Darren Chester said: “The Inland Rail project will provide a rail freight connection between Melbourne and Brisbane, connecting regional Australia with global markets.
“The region will play a major role in the delivery of Inland Rail, with the Central West region of New South Wales set to see $480 million in economic benefits from the nationally significant rail project.
“One Inland Rail train will support the movement of approximately 2,500 tonnes of freight in a single trip, equivalent to taking 110 B-double trucks off the roads.”
In 2015, the then Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss announced the Inland Rail project would be built in ten years to a cost of $10 billion.
Of the 1,700km route, 700km will be made up of enhanced existing interstate track, 400km of majorly upgraded existing track and 400km of newly constructed track.