Freight trains will begin running on the Inland Rail North-West Connection from October as construction wraps up on the first section of new track.
The North-West Connection links the Inland Rail project to the interstate east-west line that runs from Sydney to Perth to provide another route for the freight industry.
It joins the Broken Hill Line to the existing rail track south of Henry Parkes Way with 5.3 kilometres of new rail track, significantly increasing the efficiency of trains heading across Australia.
Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister, Michael McCormack, said Inland Rial is one of the centerpieces of the Federal Government’s $100 billion infrastructure pipeline.
“The North-West Connection is so important for our freight industry,” he said.
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“We will see markedly improved travel times and enhanced capacity for multiple train movements up, down and along the intersecting network, which means, when Inland Rail is fully operational, more productive supply chains carrying our food, furnishings and resources across Australia.”
The build schedule for Inland Rail allows for parts of the project to be released into the national network as they are completed.
The Federal Government has committed up to $9.3 billion to Inland Rail which aims to change the way freight moves across the east coast.
Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Minister, Mark Coulton, said large-scale projects such as Inland Rail were incredibly important to regional Australia.
“Inland Rail is making a real contribution to communities like Parkes, by creating jobs for locals, injecting investment into the local economy and taking trucks off local roads,” Coulton said.