Regional rail plans on track to success
Last week The Nationals’ announced the Inland Rail is set to be futureproofed with $1.3 million committed to replacing two timber bridges along the train line in the Parkes electorate.
The news is just another win for regional NSW with the Inland Rail project to allow longer, heavier and more efficient trains to travel along the system and in turn reinvigorate the regions for decades to come.
Running from Brisbane to Melbourne, through the Parkes and Riverina electorates, the vital bridge upgrades have been welcomed by local members, Mark Coulton and Michael McCormack.
“As well as improving part of the existing rail line that connects the national interstate rail networks, these new bridges will be part of the Inland Rail route when it is constructed,” Mr Coulton.
The bridges due for an upgrade are located at Narraweena and Tomingley West. The timber structures will be replaced by reinforced concrete culvert bridges designed and built to the Inland Rail engineering specifications.
“It makes sense to design and build the new bridges to higher specifications to enable them to handle potential future demands as the Inland Rail programme comes to fruition. This section of the rail freight network already supports the movement of container, bulk, and general freight services with agricultural commodities such as grain, consolidated regional freight, and mineral concentrate,” Mr McCormack said.
When complete the rail freight service will help connect regional Australia with global markets and produce $480 million in economic benefits in the Central West region alone.
“For fresh food, it will be absolutely critical and will also enable mining products – just about everything you can put on a freight train – will be getting to ports far sooner,” said Mr McCormack.
“It is going to mean the world of difference to a place like Parkes – it can now connect to the world!”
The Inland Rail upgrade will also add an additional 600km of new rail track to the 1200km already in existence and have the capacity to support the movement of approximately 2,500 tonnes of freight in a single trip, which is equivalent to taking 110 B-double trucks off the roads.
The National Party is the only party pushing for a better transport system in regional NSW and it is outstanding our Parliamentarians are now able to deliver on these promises. The funding is in addition to the $894 million committed in last year’s budget towards the project.
With a stronger rail system, businesses in regional areas will have access to a greater variety of markets to sell their produce and products – another win for regional NSW and our communities.
For more information on the Inland Rail project, visit: www.inlandrail.artc.com.au