Inland Rail benefits begin to flow for regional New South Wales communities

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and ICN are working together to ensure local and regional suppliers can take advantage of opportunities presented by Inland Rail, Australia’s largest freight rail infrastructure project.

Inland Rail is a 1,700km fast freight backbone from Melbourne to Brisbane that will transform how we move goods around Australia and ensure safer, less congested roads and fewer emissions.

There are 13 individual Inland Rail projects, seven in NSW, one in Victoria and five in Queensland with construction works comprising upgrades of, and enhancements to, existing rail track and construction of completely new track.

The project is expected to be completed in 2025, with work packages progressively rolling out over that time.

Construction has already started on the Parkes to Narromine section and is expected to be completed by mid-2020. ARTC Inland Rail has called tenders for the Narrabri to North Star section that comprises upgrades to existing track within the existing rail corridor and construction of a small section of new rail track.

Stage one will involve:

  • upgrading approximately 171km of track and formation within the existing rail corridor
  • construction of new road/rail interface
  • constructing five new crossing loops with associated maintenance sidings
  • constructing 220 rail culverts and 98 road culverts
  • constructing eight under bridges
  • upgrading, relocating or consolidating 76 level crossings, including five pedestrian crossings
  • relocating utilities and mitigating impacts at 470 locations
  • modifying Moree and Narrabri stations.

ARTC Inland Rail is partnering with ICN NSW to communicate with local industry through Gateway as well as via local business briefings and workshops.

ARTC Inland Rail have shortlisted Lendlease Engineering Pty Ltd, RailFirst (a Downer EDI and Seymour Whyte joint venture) and Trans4m Rail (a Rhomberg Rail Australia, John Holland and SEE Civil joint venture) to bid on the Stage one works.

Indicative work packages have been listed on ICN Gateway for registrations of interest. These include services from earthworks and drainage, to labour hire and facility services.

Inland Rail Program Commercial Manager, Marc Allen, said there will be opportunities for regional suppliers to be involved as the Narrabri to North Star project progresses.

“The benefits of Inland Rail will be felt far beyond the route alignment as businesses come on board to build and support workers,” Marc said.

“From the outset, Inland Rail has focused on creating opportunities for regional workforces to take advantage of the new business growth opportunities Inland Rail can unlock.”

“We provide full, fair and reasonable opportunity for capable and competitive local suppliers to participate in the procurement of goods, equipment and services to Inland Rail.” Marc said.

In addition to creating opportunities for regional businesses to support project delivery, Inland Rail is also committed to leaving a positive legacy for the communities in which we work - both during and post-construction.

The Inland Rail Skills Academy was launched in August 2019 to help create opportunities for education, training, skills development and employment for communities along the project alignment.

The Academy aims to:

  • increase the number of skilled local people eligible for employment on Inland Rail and associated regional industries
  • create opportunities for local businesses to participate in new supply chains.

Academy participants will benefit from access to Inland Rail’s partnerships with recognised industry experts who will deliver programs designed to build skills and prosperity in local communities, regions and nationally.

Inland Rail will also run skills development programs and business capability workshops during 2020 and beyond to help identify opportunities for local businesses to partner with major construction contractors or supply directly to Inland Rail projects.

Details of upcoming sessions in NSW will be communicated via ICN Gateway.

Suppliers interested in being involved in the Narrabri to North Star project are encouraged to register on the ICN Gateway page.