Residents along the Inland Rail corridor from Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) will soon have access to improved mobile phone coverage, thanks to a partnership between the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and its delivery partner, Telstra, to deliver new and upgraded mobile telecommunications infrastructure in the region.
Improved telecommunications is an operational requirement of Inland Rail in certain areas along the alignment and following completion of a feasibility study on N2NS, ARTC is taking the opportunity to extend local coverage as it implements telecommunications infrastructure during construction.
The telecommunications works will include a new radio base station in North Star, a new small cell in Croppa Creek, an upgrade to the existing base station in Gurley and a new radio base station in Crooble.
Local member for Parkes, Mark Coulton, met with representatives from ARTC, Gwydir Shire Council and the local community at North Star to announce the legacy project, which will boost the mobile coverage up to 10-15 kilometres either side of the Inland Rail alignment.
Coulton, who is also a farmer in the region, said this would give comfort to local landowners that they will be able to receive information from their paddocks regarding train movements when moving machinery or livestock across the rail line.
“This also means that Inland Rail will leave that great legacy benefit when construction is long since completed,” he said.
The augmentation work to be undertaken during Inland Rail’s construction will roll out in 2022. Telstra will manage the ongoing operations and maintenance once the infrastructure has been delivered.
Supply chain opportunities have brought a significant economic boost to the region with $32.3 million spent across 116 local businesses that have supplied to the project to date.
Since construction began on the N2NS section of Inland Rail, 717 people have worked on the project, 212 of whom are local residents and 47 are local indigenous residents.