The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has called for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for a new design and construction contract on Inland Rail.

As part of Early Contractor Involvement, the ARTC is seeking EOIs from companies to complete early phase works of the Tottenham to Albury section of the major rail project.

The Tottenham to Albury project involves designing and rebuilding bridges, associated civil works and track lowering at 12 sites, as well as the delivery of overhead wiring, signal gantry installations and track slews along the existing North East rail line from Beveridge (north of Melbourne) to Albury.

ARTC’s General Manager Projects Victoria, Ed Walker, said, “We’re asking contractors to express their interest in the works, especially those with experience delivering a program of complex road and rail infrastructure in regional locations, with a value in excess of $200 million.”

The Victorian section of Inland Rail is one of 13 connected projects that will enhance supply chains and complete the backbone of the national rail freight network, offering a transit time of 24 hours or less for freight trains between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Inland Rail is expected to cut over ten hours and 200km off the transit from Victoria to Queensland for freight, and provides a direct connection to Queensland, bypassing the heavily constrained route through Sydney and the circuitous route via the NSW North Coast.

“Not only does Inland Rail deliver a freight solution to support the country’s future, but it is critical to keep the national economy moving, particularly in regional areas along the alignment by supporting businesses and keeping locals employed,” Mr Walker said.

“A recent EY report into Inland Rail Regional Opportunities estimated that Inland Rail will boost the Victorian Gross Regional Product by up to $4.6 billion over a 50-year operating period, on top of the positive impacts during the construction period.

“Key industries such as food processing, timber/paper manufacturing and defence manufacturing are set to benefit from more connected rail freight links and efficiency from the project.”

Applications can be submitted until 5pm on 13 July 2020, with plans to shortlist dual Early Contractor Involvement contractors by August 2020 and select a contractor for the Design and Construction by early 2021.

More information on the project, along with the EOI documents, may be found here.

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