Albury, Wagga and Forbes firms get shot at Inland Rail contracts

The shortlisted contractors for the 185km Albury to Illabo project and the 170km Stockinbingal to Parkes project  – John Holland, FreightConnect and Martinus Rail – will attend networking sessions hosted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), at which businesses can make their pitch to the major contractors to win future work.

Businesses interested in attending should ensure they have a current, accurate business capability statement and a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ that describes what their business does, where it is located and clients they have worked with.

Regional supplier briefings event details

  • Albury: Monday, 18 July 2022 between 4pm and 6:30pm at Commercial Club Albury (618 Dean Street)
  • Wagga Wagga: Tuesday, 19 July 2022 between 4pm and 6:30pm at Wagga RSL Club (Dobbs Street)
  • Forbes: Wednesday, 20 July 2022 between 4pm and 6:30pm at Club Forbes (Templar Street)

Project Director of Inland Rail (Tottenham to Narromine) Melvyn Maylin said that ARTC Inland Rail is providing new opportunities for local businesses to engage with the Inland Rail program as they progress towards construction.

“These briefings are intended to help get as many local people as possible involved with the project,” he said.

“We are inviting local businesses who are keen to be involved in Inland Rail to join us at this networking event, hear from the shortlisted contractors and meet with representatives from each organisation.

“Bookings are essential. You can register your attendance by visiting inlandrail.artc.com.au/a2p-meet or by emailing inlandrailnsw@artc.com.au.

“Inland Rail is being predominantly delivered in regional Australia, meaning there is a prime opportunity for regional Australia to reap the immediate benefits that come with construction.

“The relationships that we establish with communities and businesses now will also support regions to prepare for the long-term economic opportunities that come with connectivity to this fast, efficient and cost-competitive freight transport.”

Final selection of contractors

ARTC is now entering a formal Request for Proposal phase to determine which contractor will be chosen to conduct the project.

The successful contractor will be required to deliver initiatives and meet targets related to industry participation, employment and workforce development with the Inland Rail team working closely with them to achieve these targets.

This is especially good news for city centres like Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga, which will act as hubs for surrounding regional industry when Inland Rail is operational, through intermodal capacity and strategic locations between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

“We are incredibly mindful of how sizable investment can reshape regional economies in a short period of time and our focus is on ensuring that benefits flow directly to the communities on the Inland Rail alignment,” Maylin said.

ARTC is expecting to award the contract in early 2023.

First train arrives at Kangy Angy Maintenance Facility

The first train of the New Intercity Fleet has travelled to the Kangy Angy Maintenance facility on the NSW Central Coast from Sydney.

The journey is part of the testing phase of the new fleet of 55 10 car trains and is one of the first of many trips to the Central Coast that the fleet will make, said local member Adam Crouch.

“The Central Coast and Newcastle Line will be the first in NSW to benefit from the New Intercity Fleet, which will deliver safer, more accessible and comfortable journeys,” Crouch said.

“The 24-hour-run Kangy Angy Maintenance Facility was purpose-built for the New Intercity Fleet, where the trains will be washed, maintained and serviced. It is close to 500,000 square metres in size, has about six kilometres of electric rail lines, a new rail bridge and offices and amenities for staff.”

The maintenance facility was completed in late August and was constructed by John Holland. UGL Rail will operate the facility as part of the RailConnect consortium which has built and designed and will maintain the fleet.

There are currently the trains from the New Intercity Fleet that are undergoing testing ahead of a larger roll-out later in 2020. The Central Coast and Newcastle Line will be the first line to have the fleet introduced into passenger service.

The New Intercity Fleet replace the V-set trains and come with accessibility and comfort upgrades, said NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance.

“Customers on the New Intercity Fleet will enjoy more spacious two-by-two seating, mobile device charging ports, modern heating and air conditioning, and dedicated spaces for luggage, prams and bicycles,” Constance said.

“Automatic Selective Door Operation, obstruction detection and traction interlocking are just some of the safety features on these new trains.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the trains are hoped to make public transport preferred for regional residents.

“These new trains are fully accessible for our less mobile customers, building upon our vision to help make public transport a first-choice option for people living in the regions,” said Toole.

Port Botany

Tender released for Port Botany Rail duplication

The design and construct tender for the Port Botany Rail duplication has been released to the three shortlisted contractors.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), which is leading the project, has released the documentation to CPB Contractors, Laing O’Rouke Construction Australia, and John Holland, who were shortlisted in January.

Once complete, the $400 million federally funded project will allow for more freight to be transported to and from Port Botany via rail, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

“The Botany Rail Duplication will upgrade and duplicate the current single freight rail track between Mascot and Botany to increase the capacity of Sydney’s freight rail network while bolstering operational efficiency, flexibility and reliability for freight customers,” he said.

“This will create more than 400 jobs during construction and provide a welcome boost to all the hard-working local businesses who use the rail line to get their products to markets.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the project would enable a reduction in trucks travelling through local roads in Sydney.

Australia’s freight requirements are set to grow significantly over the coming decades. While this is great news for the industry and the Australian economy, it will place increasing pressure on our roads,” he said.

“I look forward to this transformative project getting underway so that Sydney, New South Wales and our national supply chain can reap the benefits.”

The Cabramatta Loop Project tender, which will allow freight trains to pass each other on the Southern Sydney Freight Line, will be released separately.

The Port Botany Rail duplication project was recently approved by the NSW government in its fast track process.

The project was also added to the Infrastructure Australia Infrastructure Priority List in August, 2020, recognising the need for greater freight rail capacity to and from Port Botany.