The Federal Government has announced two new railway bridges to be built between Parkes and Narromine, with the works meeting the load bearing requirements to support the Inland Rail project once it begins.

The bridges are being built at Tomingley West and Narwonah on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) national rail network.

The $1.3 million project will see two timber bridges replaced by reinforced concrete culvert structures designed and built to Inland Rail engineering specifications.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the upgrades were particularly significant as the new structures will meet the Inland Rail ‘standard’—future proofed for longer, heavier and more efficient trains.

“As well as improving part of the existing rail line that connects the national interstate rail networks, these new bridges will be part of the Inland Rail route when it is constructed,” Mr Chester said.

“The Inland Rail project, which will provide a rail freight connection between Melbourne and Brisbane, connecting regional Australia with global markets. The region will play a major role in the delivery of Inland Rail, with the Central West region of New South Wales set to see $480 million in economic benefits from the nationally significant rail project.

“One Inland Rail train will support the movement of approximately 2,500 tonnes of freight in a single trip, equivalent to taking 110 B-double trucks off the roads.”

Minister for Small Business and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said it was necessary to upgrade these bridges to higher specifications.

“It makes sense to design and build the new bridges to higher specifications to enable them to handle potential future demands as the Inland Rail programme comes to fruition. This section of the rail freight network already supports the movement of container, bulk, and general freight services with agricultural commodities such as grain, consolidated regional freight, and mineral concentrates,” Mr McCormack said.

The Parkes to Narromine section of the Inland Rail project involves upgrading the existing 107 kilometres of track.

Overall, the Inland Rail project takes advantage of 1200km of existing rail corridor and will involve the construction of around 600km of new track.

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