After years of environmental assessment and consultation with landowners, councils and the broader community, construction of the Parkes to Narromine section of NSW's Inland Rail project is set to start after it was granted its Planning Approval.
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The Narromine to Parkes section requires 600 tonnes of steel from Whyalla in South Australia and 200,000 concrete sleepers from Mittagong, NSW, while two local quarries will be supplying $7 million in ballast and capping for the project.

In all, about 3.6 million tonnes of ballast and 3.4 million tonnes of capping will be needed for the 1700km length of the Inland Rail. 

Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said the Planning Approval is a significant milestone with the first track for Inland Rail expected to be laid later this year. 

"We're hearing from the Central West community that people are energised about the Inland Rail project and we thank them for their continued input and feedback," Wankmuller said. 

"Ultimately, we want to build the best possible rail line and ensure locals benefit as much as possible.

"We have been working closely with landowners and the community here for over two years, and we are very grateful for the support, feedback and land access provided, which aided throughout the design and environmental assessment process and continues to date.

"Community feedback has proven invaluable to the process."

The 104km Inland Rail section from Parkes to Narromine will utilise most of the existing rail corridor that is already operated by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), as part of its interstate rail freight network and a newly built 5.3km long rail connection to the Broken Hill line to the west of Parkes. 

Construction work will involve track formation, upgrading the track and culverts, as well as providing additional flexibility through three new crossing loops at Goonumbla, Peak Hill and Timjelly. 

"Central West NSW stands to benefit significantly from Inland Rail and we appreciate how important it is for people to understand the proposals and plans for their local area, and we thank the community for their contribution in marking this important milestone on the project," Wankmuller said. 

"ARTC has purchased five new Toyota Hilux's from a local dealership in Parkes for site visits and community engagement. 

"This is just one demonstration of the many benefits that will be delivered to a broad cross-section of the community." 

Community updates, project news and other documents prepared in accordance with the Conditions of Approval will be placed on the Inland Rail website as they become available.

The construction contractor for the Parkes to Narromine corridor is INLink, which is a joint venture between BMD Constructions and Fulton Hogan.