AusRAIL, Market Sectors

New northern NSW rail loops to boost speeds

<p>The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will use a section of the existing rail north of Casino to build one of four new crossing loops along the Brisbane-Melbourne line. </p> <p>The work, due for completion in July, should slash 1,500-metre superfreighter times by almost 4 hours, from 19 hr 22 min to 15 hr 30 min. </p> <p>Trains will eventually use the existing line at Nammoona as a rail loop when a new section of the main line to be built on the western side of the track.</p> <p>The work also includes duplication of the underbridge and replacement or extension of three existing culverts.</p> <p>ARTC chief executive David Marchant said the work, part of a $2bn North Coast Improvement project, was needed to speed up freight times.</p> <p>&#8220The lack of longer crossing loops on the North Coast line has limited some trains to 700- to 800-metre lengths,&#8221 Mr Marchant said. </p> <p>&#8220The north coast improvement project will improve the overall efficiency of rail movement between Sydney and Brisbane by providing many more locations where longer freight trains can pass on the north coast line.&#8221</p> <p>Concrete sleepers will be used along the whole line and 18 of the existing 1,500-metre crossing loops will also be upgraded, once the three-year project is complete.</p> <p>The ARTC has also begun constructing an extension to a crossing loop at Braunstone, south of Grafton. </p> <br />