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Inland Rail underway thanks to the Nationals

Yet another major milestone for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail has been reached, with the first delivery of steel rail being delivered for the Parkes to Narromine project. This is the first steel rail delivered for the Inland Rail project since the Australian Government’s $8.4 billion commitment toward the project in the 2017-18 Federal Budget.

The unloading of 600 tonnes of 165m rail line lengths at Peak Hill indicates work is definitely underway.

Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton accompanied by the Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Barnaby Joyce and the Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack attended the major milestone for the Project.

He said it was great to see materials being delivered to the site and that regional Australia will reap significant rewards from the project.

“The Inland Rail moves from a concept to a reality with the arrival of this steel,” Mark said.

“Already we are seeing councils in the Electorate like Narromine, Gilgandra, Narrabri and Moree all making plans for how they will take advantage of it.

“Individual farmers are already planning so they can load trains and take advantage of the cheaper freight.

“The Inland Rail will stimulate significant development, investment and innovation opportunities in regional Australia, including $480 million for the Central West New South Wales region. This means more jobs and a better freight transport network for the entire region,” Mark said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Barnaby Joyce was on hand to lay the first pieces of steel for Inland Rail, kicking of Australia’s latest – and potentially greatest – infrastructure project.

“This project is a game-changer for our regions, creating thousands of jobs nationwide, and returning $16 billion to the national economy during the delivery phase and the first 50 years of operation,” he said.

“It will improve travel times for local farmers and producers, reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling through small towns, and slash business costs for freight operators. We are getting on with delivering this project, and today we have seen the first of 14,000 tonnes of steel to be delivered just for the Parkes to Narromine section. We’re still on track for works to begin in May this year, and it’s great to see this project take shape.”

The rail is 60 kilograms of steel per meter, easily accommodating the Inland Rail standard of double-stack trains of up to 1,800m in length travelling at 115kph with a 21 tonne axle load. Inland Rail will draw more freight from road onto rail, reducing the number of heavy vehicles on Australia’s roads.

The steel is sourced from Australian companies OneSteel and Whyalla, making Inland Rail a true feat of engineering, manufacturing and persistence for Australian freight companies and the Nationals, who have fought for the project since the Howard-Anderson era.

More information about the Inland Rail project is available at https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/

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