The contract to design and construct the Torrens Rail Junction upgrade has been awarded to a consortium, with works to remove major pinch-points in Adelaide’s rail freight and road networks and increase flow of freight set to begin in early 2017.

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, said the consortium of Laing O’Rourke, AECOM and Kellogg, Brown and Root won the alliance contract to separate the interstate freight rail line from the Outer Harbor passenger line and build a rail underpass at Park Terrace.

The Torrens Rail Junction project will feature a new lowered railway station at Bowden, improving connections to the Bowden Urban Village, Entertainment Centre, park lands and local area, including a new shared pedestrian and cycling path.

“This project will deliver substantial benefits for transporting freight across the country by rail, while reducing the number of heavy freight vehicles using the road network,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Currently freight trains must give way to Outer Harbor passenger trains resulting in delays to rail freight network services.

“This upgrade will improve the productivity of the national rail freight network, not only by reducing those delays, but also by enabling around 20 per cent longer, 1800m freight trains to operate between Adelaide and Melbourne.”

South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan, said there would also be significant benefits to the road network, with the removal of the level crossing at Park Terrace.

“Almost 50,000 vehicles use this part of the Inner Ring Route every day but with 160 daily passenger train movements through the level crossing traffic is held up by a total of more than two hours every day,” Mr Mullighan said.

“About 11 freight trains a day travel through the Torrens junction, closing the Torrens Road and Hawker Street level crossings for up to six minutes each time.

“Removing the need for freight trains to stop at Torrens junction will also mean they don’t have to slow down or stop through the Torrens Road and Hawker Street level crossings, reducing traffic delays at these locations.”

The Torrens Rail Junction project is the second stage of the $357.6 million Goodwood and Torrens Junctions project.

Stage two works also include a new pedestrian and cycling overpass at Goodwood to complete the popular Mike Turtur bikeway – Adelaide’s busiest cycling route used by up to 1000 cyclists a day.

Together these projects are expected to support on average around 212 jobs a year during construction and will be delivered in line with the State Government’s Industry Participation and Steel Procurement policies.

Stage one, the Goodwood Junction, was completed in 2013, improving rail safety and productivity by eliminating the delays caused by the freight line crossing the Seaford passenger line.

Stage one also delivered the Adelaide Showground Station in 2014, which caters to more than 100,000 passengers a year.

The Australian Government is contributing $189.4 million towards this $357.6 million project.

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