From next month freight trains travelling from the east and west will be running on the first completed section of new track of the Inland Rail North-West Connection.
The North-West Connection will link Inland Rail to the interstate east-west line from Sydney to Perth providing a vital connection for the freight industry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton were in Parkes last Friday to inspect the completed section.
“The North-West Connection is so important for our freight industry and we will see markedly improved travel times and enhanced capacity for multiple train movements up, down and along the intersecting network,” said Michael.
According to Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller this is another important project milestone. “This historic link is a vital connection to the Inland Rail spine and the East-West network to Perth,” Richard said.
“What was a greenfield site now accommodates this significant rail connection that will be handed over in the coming weeks to become operational. In the second quarter of next year, we anticipate it will also link into the Parkes to Narromine line.
The North-West Connection is part of Inland Rail’s Parkes to Narromine project, and continues to provide opportunities and an economic boost for local communities.
“At the end of July, about $24.5 million had been spent with local businesses,” Richard said. “Around 72 local businesses have supplied to the project, about 700 people have worked on the project, of whom about 280 are local, and last month a peak daily workforce of 598 was recorded.
Motorists should note that there are two new level crossings as part of the North- West Connection, one at Coopers Road and one at Brolgan Road with boom gates and flashing lights.