Inland Rail Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 section set to unlock benefits for local industry

The section between Camurra and North Star is on track to return to service at the end of the month, allowing trains to service grain silos at Milguy, Croppa Creek, and North Star after two and a half years. Operators have already been reaping the benefits of Inland Rail upgrades to the line between Narrabri and South Moree, which has been operational since November 2022.

The milestone signals the completion of major construction on the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project, which includes upgrades to 176km of track along the existing corridor from Narrabri to North Star. ARTC’s contractor Trans4m Rail is now undertaking finishing and commissioning works along the alignment.

Phase 2 of the project, which involves further upgrades and building 2km of new track north of Moree, is currently in approvals with Inland Rail now preparing a Preferred Infrastructure Report and a Response to Submissions for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 works will see improved efficiency and reliability on the main line, as well as boosting resilience to extreme weather events, with the track withstanding the worst flood in a decade to hit Moree late last year.

Five crossing loops, seven bridge upgrades, and improved safety at 57 level crossings have all been included in the design to improve safety and service reliability on the network.

The project also brings telecommunications upgrades to rural New South Wales, with ARTC in partnership with Telstra delivering a $3.4 million project to deliver improved connectivity for trains using the line and also to enhance mobile telecommunications for local communities in North Star, Gurley, Croppa Creek, and Crooble, leaving a community legacy for years to come.

Once Phase 2 is completed, the upgraded track between Narrabri and North Star will allow freight customers to transport heavier freight volumes at higher speeds through its access to the Australian Rail Track Corporation Hunter Valley Rail Network, boosting their productivity and efficiency.

Peter Borrelli, Inland Rail Project Director Narrabri to North Star, said:

“We are very proud to complete major construction on the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 section of Inland Rail. Together with our delivery partner Trans4m Rail, we have achieved a fantastic result which will bring benefits to local industry, rail operators and communities.

“I’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we completed the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 works throughout previous work stages and tight possession windows. We are thrilled to be able to return the line to service on schedule, despite significant challenges faced during construction including flooding, mouse plagues, and the pandemic.

“Narrabri to North Star will be the second section of Inland Rail to complete major construction, following the commissioning of the Parkes to Narromine line in September 2020.”

IMAGE: Milguy, NSW: Boolah Farm (left), GrainCorp Milguy (right)

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