Michael McCormack and Mark Coulton inspecting the Inland Rail.

Freight trains will soon travel on the first section of the Inland Rail, thanks to the Nationals in Government.

The track will link Inland Rail to the interstate east-west line from Sydney to Perth, providing a vital connection for the freight industry.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and joined Member for Parkes Mark Coulton to inspect the new section, which will streamline freight across Australia.

“The North-West Connection is so important for our freight industry and we will see shorter travel times and enhanced capacity for multiple trains, which will mean more productive supply chains carrying our food, furnishings and resources across Australia,” Mr McCormack said. “Inland Rail is already expanding the national freight network and the opening of this section will also create a much-needed link that improves access between the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Interstate railway line.

“Inland Rail is one of the centrepieces of the Nationals in Government’s $100 billion infrastructure pipeline. This once-in-a-generation project will transform the way freight is moved around this great country.”

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack

While Inland Rail is a multi-year project, the build schedule allows for individual components to be released into the national network, providing incremental benefits as sections are completed, meaning regional producers will have earlier access to the national capability of Inland Rail.

The Nationals in Government are committed to infrastructure and delivering results.

New connections

The North-West Connection joins the existing Broken Hill Line to the existing rail track south of Henry Parkes Way with 5.3km of greenfield rail track, significantly increasing the efficiency of trains heading across Australia.

Inland Rail will help regional businesses pursue more opportunities in the future.

The Nationals’ commitment of up to $9.3 billion for Inland Rail is not just about changing the way freight moves along the eastern seaboard, it is about ensuring we have efficient connections from regional Australia to domestic and international markets.

Inland Rail will help cater for the growing demand for domestic freight and it will provide regional businesses and farmers with new opportunities to grow their exports by helping them get their produce to market when and where it is required.

Major benefits

The benefits of Inland Rail are clear: The project will support 16,000 jobs during construction and will provide a $16 billion boost to our national economy over the long-term, helping to build resilience in our economy going forward.

Mr Coulton said large-scale projects such as Inland Rail were incredibly important to regional Australia.

“One of the reasons I stepped off a tractor 12 years ago and went to Canberrra was because of my belief in Inland Rail, and today’s milestone has turned that belief into a reality,” Mr Coulton said. “Inland Rail is making a real contribution to communities like Parkes, by creating jobs for locals, injecting investment into the local economy and taking trucks off local roads. More than 70 central west businesses are supplying products or services and more than 280 local people are working on the project across a range of jobs, including engineers, tradespeople, labouring and administration staff.”

“In total, around 700 people have worked on the Parkes to Narromine section alone, and these figures will keep growing as this transformational project moves into each stage of construction.”

Member for Parkes Mark Coulton