Construction companies have been called on to register their interest with the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in building the Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail project.
A shortlist of companies will be selected from the ARTC’s Registration of Interest process and invited to proceed to a formal Expressions of Interest phase.
ARTC programme delivery director for Inland Rail Simon Thomas said work on the upgrade of line between Parkes and Narromine is expected to start in 2018.
“What we need to do is upgrade the already existing 107km rail corridor between Parkes and Narromine that is operated by ARTC as part of our interstate rail network. The work will involve upgrading the track, track formation and culverts in preparation for double-stacked, 1.8km trains,” he said.
“We also need to provide three new crossing loops at Goonumbla, Peak Hill, and Timjelly.”
Mr Thomas said as Inland Rail progressed there would be more opportunities for industry to benefit, including Australian and local companies.
“We will be following a rigorous process to appoint the right construction partners and suppliers for the each of the 13 Inland Rail sections,” he said.
Public exhibition for the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) closed on August 18 and 14 public submissions were received.
“With the EIS for the Parkes to Narromine section currently being considered by the NSW Government, ARTC is getting construction ready,” he said.
Federal Parkes MP Mark Coulton said the once-in-a-generation project for regional Australia will provide significant opportunities for businesses and suppliers.
“The Parkes to Narromine project is a major priority within the Inland Rail project and construction is expected to start early next year.
“The work will involve upgrading the existing rail corridor including the construction of a new 5.3-kilometre connection in a greenfield corridor,” he said.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester said the project will support thousands of jobs across regional Australia, creating 16,000 direct and indirect jobs at the peak of construction.
“Inland Rail will transform the way we move freight around the country, connecting regional industries and communities to domestic and international markets,” he said.