Survey work and inspections are now underway for the Stockinbingal to Parkes section of the Inland Rail project, including environmental, technical and engineering studies for the feasibility design process that will form the basis of the project’s environmental approvals and submissions.
“Studies that begin today include air quality and vibrations surveys; investigations into existing structures; ecological surveys to identify any flora and fauna; and cultural heritage surveys,” federal member for Riverina and small business minister Michael McCormack said.
McCormack visited Forbes on Wednesday to join representatives from the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Lycopodium, the company carrying out the feasibility design work, and other technical and environmental experts.
“Inland Rail is good for business and will deliver immense opportunities for our rural and regional communities. I am delighted to see this work get underway and am looking forward to seeing construction start in 2018,” he said.
The Stockinbingal to Parkes section will involve enhancements to 169km of existing rail corridor to enable it to accommodate the 1.8 km, double-stacked trains that will run on the Inland Rail track.
Further progress is also being made towards getting the Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail project underway, with the ARTC putting requesting tenders for the supply of rail culverts for the upgrade.
Works on the Parkes-Narromine section will also consist in upgrades of the existing rail corridor, plus the construction of 5 km of new rail connection at Parkes.
The culverts must be manufactured in Australia with Australian materials, comply with Australian standards and specifications, and be regularly supplied to the project from April 2018 to January 2019.
The closing date for tender submissions is Monday 18 December.