Inland Rail: Narrabri-North Star Phase 1 Complete

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Inland Rail project celebrates a key milestone today in Milguy, where the upgraded track between Camurra and North Star was returned to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC). After two and a half years of relentless construction, this achievement opens the path for trains to reach the grain silos at Milguy, Croppa Creek, and North Star.

Local elected officials, stakeholders, and the industrious Inland Rail and Trans4m staff convened for a festive celebration. With great appreciation, they acknowledged the unwavering dedication invested in this monumental project—a transformational endeavor set to reshape the region’s landscape.

The Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project witnessed a transformation of 176 kilometers of the existing rail corridor. Seven bridges reached for the skies, and safety took center stage with 57 fortified level crossings. Ten passive level crossings transformed into active ones, complete with bells, lights, and protective boom gates, ensuring the railway’s security.

This project took pride in using Australian-made materials, such as over 290,000 solid concrete sleepers and 4,700 precast culverts. But it was more than surface improvements; the rail’s foundation underwent a significant overhaul. Bulk earthworks reconstructed the track’s base, raising it to higher ground. New bridges and reinforced culverts enhanced rail flood resilience during last year’s turbulent weather in the region.

Also Read: Final Stretch for Masterton to Carterton Project

Inland Rail Connecting Communities and Boosting Economies

Beyond rail improvement, this project provided a vital economic boost to communities in northwest New South Wales. An impressive $244 million flowed to 137 local businesses, including nearly $9 million directed towards First Nations businesses. Over 2,000 individuals, including 678 locals, were part of this monumental undertaking.

Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 marks the second major construction completion for Inland Rail. This achievement follows the successful commissioning of the Parkes to Narromine line in September 2020. Phase 2, which involves further upgrades and a 2-kilometer stretch of new track north of Moree, is currently awaiting approvals. Inland Rail is already in the process of preparing a Preferred Infrastructure Report and a Response to Submissions for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Peter Borrelli, Inland Rail Project Director for Narrabri to North Star, was ecstatic about the achievement. He emphasized the substantial completion of Narrabri to North Star Phase 1, underlining Inland Rail’s dedication. Despite pandemic disruptions, two floods, and mouse plagues, the team, including Trans4m Rail, achieved outstanding results.

He pressed on, affirming that the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project invigorated northwest New South Wales communities economically. Looking ahead, they anticipate more regional benefits, prioritizing completion of construction between Parkes and Albury by 2027. Inland Rail’s expansion will fortify national freight and supply chain capabilities, weaving a seamless network through rail, roads, and ports, solidly supporting Australia’s growth.

Inland Rail doesn’t merely revolve around tracks and trains; instead, it actively forges connections and cultivates futures for communities and businesses in the region. Now that Phase 1 has been successfully concluded, it propels the vision of a more robust and interconnected Australia through Inland Rail one step closer to reality.