Major re-railing works are underway in South Australia with the first Whyalla-made steel rail tracks installed as part of the $252 million Adelaide to Tarcoola Rail Upgrade Acceleration project.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael McCormack, said the re-railing works had secured dozens of local jobs and would deliver long-lasting productivity benefits to the national supply chain.

“An estimated 110 workers are already employed on the project in Adelaide and Port Augusta, and up to 70 more will be employed to help deliver this critical upgrade. Infrastructure company John Holland is on board and upskilling local workers through its own training program,” Mr McCormack said.

“The direct employment opportunities and increased demand for a variety of local goods and services generated will provide the Eyre Peninsula and South Australian economy with a major boost.

“Importantly the project will vastly improve rail freight productivity by delivering more goods to markets faster, building local economies and creating local jobs.”

Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey, said great progress had been made in recent months with dozens of train services unloading steel rail sections right along the length of the route.

“Site mobilisation and welding works started in February 2018 and rail installation is scheduled to take place through to the second half of 2019,” Mr Ramsey said.

“The project continues to deliver additional works such as level crossing and structural improvements between Adelaide and Tarcoola to support the planned increase in freight train axle load limits.

“To date over 43,600 tonnes of steel procured from Liberty OneSteel has been delivered to the Port Augusta Flashbutt facility—over half of the total order—and a total of 324km of track has been delivered to site for installation.”

The project involves upgrading approximately 600km of standard gauge rail track between Adelaide and Tarcoola line by replacing 47 kilogram per metre rail with stronger 60 kilogram per metre rail allowing for 25 tonne axle load limits. 

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