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A $6 million contract has been awarded to investigate how the rail line connecting Albury with Melbourne and Sydney can be made viable to cope with inland rail.
The federal government announced the inland rail project in its May budget, which included a 1700-kilometre freight corridor between Brisbane and Melbourne that trains could complete in less than 24 hours.
But the Victorian section of the line has been plagued with issues concerning passenger trains.
The contract to look into feasibility design work between Tottenham, just outside Melbourne, and Illabo, north of Wagga, has been awarded to Kellogg Brown and Root Pty Ltd and is valued at about $6 million.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation told the office of Farrer MP Sussan Ley the main issues would be investigating where the track could be upgraded to increase height clearance under bridges to accommodate double stacking of trains.
The Billy Hughes Bridge at Ettamogah was one example of where significant work would be needed to lower the track under the bridge.
Ms Ley said the project would support farmers and businesses in the region.
“Inland rail is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia and it is going to create a host of new opportunities for communities along the route, including new jobs and business expansion,” she said.
Riverina MP Michael McCormack said the detailed design phase would follow after the feasibility design works. "This will see more contracts awarded, which will ultimately lead to construction,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.bordermail.com.au
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