Freight Rail, Events, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Track & Civil Construction

Double thumbs up for double stacked trains

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has backed a modification of the bridge over the Walgett Branch Line in Narrabri  to allow double stacked trains to transition on and off the Inland Rail mainline and further boost freight opportunities in northern New South Wales.

Following consultation with Narrabri Shire Council and key stakeholders, ARTC will increase the height of the planned bridge over the existing Walgett Branch Line from 5.8 metres to 7.1 metres to allow double stacked container wagons to pass under.

ARTC Chief Executive Officer Mark Campbell said raising the bridge will help industries to realise benefits from the long-term supply chain activities taking place at Narrabri.

“We have committed over $8 million to raise the height of the proposed Inland Rail bridge … which will help support the vision of the Narrabri Council for a world class inland port at Narrabri,” he said.

“This is going to future proof the investments which have been made in Narrabri by providing long term productivity gains as well as better connection to existing rail networks and the Port of Newcastle.

“ARTC is committed to creating a safe and efficient rail network and maximising supply opportunities to allow regional communities to prosper for years to come.

“Inland Rail, the Narrabri Activation Precinct, Northern NSW Inland Port and the Narrabri to Turrawan Line Upgrade project are all key elements of delivering a future freight hub in northern NSW.

ARTC Inland Rail’s Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering said the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail is charging ahead, where 920 people, including 281 local residents, have worked on the project since construction commenced in 2020.

“As we approach construction on the Narromine to Narrabri section later this year, we are committed to creating opportunities for the local community and workforce,” she said.

“The modification to this bridge is a great result and we will continue to work alongside Narrabri Shire Council and key stakeholders as Inland Rail ramps up.

“We are also future proofing the designs for Inland Rail by including the footprint of a future enhanced connection between the Walgett Branch and Inland Rail in the plans for Inland Rail.”

The bridge will be upgraded as part of the Narromine to Narrabri Inland Rail project, with construction on track to kick off in late 2022.