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Inland Rail will close the Moree-Narrabri North line from Penny’s Road, Bellata north from April 1 to October 31 this year, and again from Penny’s Road south in 2022, resulting in the need for coaches to transfer rail customers between Moree and Narrabri to link with the existing passenger rail service.
Inland Rail Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) Project Director Heather Parry said a balance needed to be struck between delivering the section on time and within budget; and considering the needs of the line’s users.
“With these considerations in mind, ARTC has developed a construction schedule allowing works on the Narrabri North to Moree section to be undertaken minimising impact on key harvest and offtake periods as much as possible,” Mrs Parry said. “We are continuing to work with all stakeholders including grain growers, traders and train operators using the existing network to assess the impact to their operations and appropriate mitigations.”
“One of these considerations is the continuity of services between Moree and Narrabri and discussions with NSW TrainLink has resulted in the provision of bus coaches to run between the two towns. Passenger services will operate to an amended timetable with details via the Transport for NSW website,” she said. “And we thank people in advance for their patience during this period.”
Mrs Parry said the possession of the track was a major milestone for the Narrabri to North Star project section.
“The possession enables the Inland Rail project team and our construction partner Trans4m Rail to start safely upgrading the existing infrastructure to Inland Rail standard in preparation for heavier, longer freight trains to travel between Melbourne and Brisbane when the Inland Rail is in operation,” she said. “Inland Rail is about efficiency. These upgrades will greatly improve the amount of volume that can be taken out of the area.”
The possession milestone follows the official sod turn for Inland Rail in Moree on November 27, 2020.
The $700 million construction effort on Narrabri and North Star will bring immediate stimulus to the regional communities of Narrabri, Bellata, Moree, Croppa Creek and North Star.
“In real terms, this will mean more money spent with local businesses at the same time as building an asset that will benefit the region for generations. This project is generating confidence in Moree … it will create jobs, create opportunities and that is what the Inland Rail is all about,” she said.
“I encourage locals looking for work to reach out to both ARTC and delivery contractor Trans4m Rail to find out about what job opportunities are available. There’ll be just about every type of job you can think of and not just on the construction side of things. The cafe where workers will have breakfast might need to hire someone, the local hairdressers might need to put more people on. There’ll be construction jobs, truck drivers, safety workers, traffic control, surveyors, water trucks and people to put signage and bull bars on trucks. You name it, this is a lot more than just laying tracks.”
This article first appeared on inlandrail.artc.com.au
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