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Inland Rail progressing - Design Contract Awarded

Moree Plains Shire Council has welcomed the announcement by Mark Coulton MP, Federal Member for Parkes that a $13.5 million contract has been awarded by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for feasibility design work on the Inland Rail project between Narromine and Narrabri.

Council’s Executive Projects Manager John Carleton explained that the contract represented a significant progression in the rollout of the Inland Rail.

“This is a really encouraging development for the Moree Plains community as it brings Inland Rail one step closer to our doorstep”, said Mr Carleton.

“Unlike the Narrabri-North Star project, the Narromine-Narrabri project does not run along an existing rail corridor and requires 300km of new track, making it the largest greenfield site of the whole Inland Rail project.

“During the design feasibility phase, ARTC will undertake detailed field investigations in the study area, which will help determine where in the study area the final 40-60 metre wide rail corridor will go.

“This is a critical section of the route for the Moree Plains as it provides our connection to the south, hence we strongly welcome the announcement that it is progressing through to the next phase.”

Mr Carleton highlighted Council’s continued recognition of the strategic importance of the Inland Rail to the ongoing prosperity of the Shire, “the Inland Rail is a once-in-a-generation project that has the potential to truly unleash the economic potential of the Moree Plains.”

“Not only will it provide huge benefits to our producers once completed, but has the potential to open up new industries for the region, with Moree positioned to continue its importance as a transport and  logistics hub for the north-west and gateway to the New England region.”

Inland Rail will provide unprecedented connection for regional Australia to domestic and international markets. It will complete the ‘spine’ of the national freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. It’s the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia, with early works to start in Parkes Shire this year and is expected to be operational in 2024-2025.

More information on the Inland Rail and the progression of each section of the project can be found on the ARTC website .