ARTC starts work on Sydney-Brisbane line

<p>The Australian Rail Track Corporation has begun a $1.3bn upgrade of the north-south rail network over the next three to four years, which includes $421.6m on the Main North Line from Sydney to Brisbane.</p> <p>Present rail freight carried Sydney to Brisbane is only 19% of all freight carried on land transport. </p> <p>ARTC is investing to assist the rail industry to increase Sydney-Brisbane market share to over 30%. </p> <p>The rail freight task would increase by over 118% by 2015 under the ARTC program.</p> <p>"The program is focussed on repairing, renovating and rebuilding the rail infrastructure assets, so ARTC can address rail’s performance on the north south corridor and increase its overall market share of freight movement within the corridor," David Marchant, chief executive of ARTC, said.</p> <p>"Our objectives are clearly to improve transit time, reliability, capacity and yield for above and below rail." </p> <p>Major work from Maitland to Brisbane will include $78m spent on extending or building new 15 crossings loops that will provide increased capacity and improved transit times through regular and frequently spaced loops, with upgrades to a standard configuration.</p> <p>Loops will be extended on the Maitland-Brisbane line at Mindaribba, Kilbride, Dungog, Weismantels, Berrico, Mt George, Kerewong, Kyarran, Tamrookum, Greenbank with new loops at Coramba, Braunstone, Loadstone and Namoona, and work at Telarah for an effective crossing facility.</p> <p>There will also be $12m for 18 loops to be upgraded to 1,500 metres to achieve maximum efficiency in execution of train crosses, with a further $39m to be spent on concreting curves using 220,000 sleepers to achieve increased train speeds.</p> <p>Significantly, the electric train staff safe working system between Casino and Greenbank Queensland will be replaced with a centralised train control system for around $14m.</p> <p>Over $50m is to be spent on other track improvements, including regular partial re-sleepering with drainage, grinding, tamping, ballasting and track reconditioning as part of an efficient maintenance regime.</p> <p>This work will see significant improvement in transit times including Melbourne-Brisbane transit times at 1,500 metre freight trains being reduced from the current 35 hr, 46 min to 26 hr, 10 min.</p> <p>Sydney-Brisbane transit times for super freighters will reduce from 19 hr 22 min to 15 hr 30 mins.</p> <p>ARTC has sought alliance partners from the maintenance and construction industries to assist it in undertaking the major works program. </p> <p>The project briefs for these works were issued last week. </p> <p>It is intended that the alliance partners will enter contracts in August.</p> <br />