The successful completion of 10,000 perfect welds marks a milestone on the Adelaide-Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration project in South Australia.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said the multi-million dollar upgrade would enable heavier and faster trains to travel along the 720km stretch.
“More productive trains means greater payloads and getting goods to market quicker,” Mr Chester said.
“This 10,000 weld milestone is good news for our farmers and miners competing on a global stage, and for domestic consumers who will benefit from more cost effective transport.
“The Australian Government has fully funded this $252 million project that will allow faster and heavier trains on the important East-West interstate rail link.”
Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said the upgrade would replace old rail with stronger steel, allowing more productive freight trains with greater payloads to cross the nation.
“This stretch is a critical link in the national supply chain, with 80 per cent of the items transported on land between Australia’s east coast and west coast travelling by rail,” Mr Ramsey said.
“It’s also supporting jobs with up to 130 people employed over the three year life of the project, and using steel sourced from Arrium’s Whyalla steel mill.
“The work being done here involves a flashbutt welder charging two lengths so they are joined with a current, heating them up to about 2000ºC and applying pressure so they melt together.
“The next stage of the works will see these rails connected to make longer lengths using a field flashbutt welder, before the rail is laid and final joins completed using more traditional welding methods.”
The $252 million Adelaide–Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration project is fully funded by the Australian Government.