Freight Rail, Major Projects & Infrastructure, Plant, Machinery & Equipment, Track & Civil Construction, Workforce

Steady progress on Inland Rail N2NS section

Progress on the Narrabri-to-North Star (N2NS) part of the Inland Rail project is progressing well, with new bridges built, new track laid and old sleepers replaced along much of the line.

Speaking at the Australasian Railway Association’s Rail Freight Conference in Brisbane, N2NS project director Peter Borrelli provided delegates with updates on the section that is nearly 200 kilometres in length and being built in two phases.

Phase One has three stages: 57km of track from north of Narrabri to Penneys Road, 28km of track from Penneys Road to South Moree, completed in 2021, and 80km of track from Camurra to North Star.

Peter Borrelli at the conference.

Phase Two of the N2NS project will see 15km existing track upgraded, plus 2.3km of new rail track built between Moree and Camurra.

The construction of Phase One will upgrade the existing rail corridor to accommodate double-stacked trains up to 1.8km in length.

During construction of Phase One, about 170km of old track has already been ripped out and nearly 300,000 old railway sleepers removed, with 135km of new track and 225,000 new sleepers already installed.

In addition, Inland Rail has installed 4250 new precast culverts, built seven new bridges, and completed upgrades to some 21 level crossings in the N2NS program to date.

“We are all very proud of what we have already achieved on the N2NS section, especially since we have faced significant challenges in the form of inclement weather and dealing with the COVID pandemic,” Borelli said.

“Nearly two thousand people have worked on N2NS, including more than 600 local residents and 160 of these workers local indigenous residents.

“Inland Rail has also pumped around $180 million into the local economy, signing deals with nearly 140 local businesses.

“On the N2NS project we have delivered around 10,000 tonnes of capping and ballast per day and we have used around 320t of quick lime daily and nearly 5000 precast reinforced concrete box culverts and built seven new bridges.”