A $30.3 million investment in the Bathurst to Parkes rail line is set deliver a major boost to freight and passenger capacity and lay the foundations to meet growing transport demand to and from the Central West.
Deputy Premier and Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Nationals in the state government have invested $12.6 million to build a new loop at Pinecliffe and $17.7 million to upgrade existing crossing loops at Polona and Bumberry.
“Crossing loops are the rail equivalent of overtaking lanes, allowing modern and longer freight trains to pass each other and creating additional capacity on the busy western line,” Mr Toole said.
“We know how valuable projects like these are to rail freight operators in reducing congestion and improving reliability – and ultimately bringing down supply chain costs.
“A new 1,800 metre loop has been built at Pinecliffe and is now in operation, while the existing loop at Polona has been extended from 900 metres to 1,800 metres, with construction under way for another 800-metre crossing loop extension at Bumberry, creating hundreds of jobs between them at the peak of construction.
“All loops will be controlled by modern remote electronic signalling allowing more freight services to operate on this section of the network without disrupting passenger services.”
Freight on Rail Group chairman Dean Dalla Valle said the increase in rail capacity is welcome news for the industry.
“Projects like these are critical to delivering reliable, efficient rail freight industry needs with the NSW regional freight task expected to increase 12 per cent in the next 15 years,” Mr Valle said.
The work is being carried out by John Holland, on behalf of Transport for NSW, and Polona and Pinecliffe projects are now operational, while Bumberry is due for completion in early 2022, weather permitting.