John Holland has been awarded a multi-million-dollar contract by the federal government to upgrade rail track between Adelaide and Tarcoola, in an effort to improve the efficiency of freight movements between the east and west of Australia.
The works to install new rail and other upgrades form part of the $252 million Adelaide-Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration Project.
John Holland executive general manager for rail, Gary Seabury, said he was “delighted” by the news.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with the ARTC to upgrade this key section of the Trans Australian railway,” Seabury said, “and being part of a project that will stimulate significant local and national economic growth.”
John Holland will start work in March 2018.
ARTC boss John Fullerton said: “It is great to see this important project progressing, which has secured additional volumes at the Whyalla steel mill, created local jobs, and will boost rail freight performance between the East and the West of our nation.”
The Turnbull Government says the rerailing work provide up to 130 jobs across South Australia and provide an economic boost for the regions between Adelaide, Whyalla, Port Augusta and Tarcoola.
“Local businesses and suppliers will reap the flow-on benefits of this multi-million-dollar rail investment, with the project already having helped secure additional steel volumes at the Whyalla steel mill, creating dozens of jobs—and more on the way,” federal infrastructure and transport minister Darren Chester said.
“This is an upgrade that will boost freight rail performance between Australia’s eastern and western states, boosting productivity, jobs and confidence in local communities across South Australia in particular. It will allow faster and heavier trains to operate between Adelaide and Perth.”
The project is increasing the rail size along the interstate line – from 47kg per metre to 60kg per metre – along with other works that will enable higher axle loads (25 tonnes at 80km/h), and thus the operation of larger and heavier freight trains to operate at faster speeds along the track.
In preparation for John Holland’s works, over half of the 72,000 tonnes of the steel required has been delivered from Whyalla to various worksites along the track.
The Adelaide-Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration Project is expected to be complete by the middle of 2019.