The Australian Rail Track Corporation has signed an $80 million contract for Inland Rail turnouts to be locally manufactured in regional Victoria.

The turnouts will be manufactured by Vossloh Cogifer’s Australian facilities

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said this was further evidence of the significant economic benefits of the 1,700km Inland Rail connecting Melbourne to Brisbane.

“The Australian Government’s investment in Inland Rail is delivering a world-class freight backbone that will stimulate economic growth, build supply chain resilience and enhance market access,” Mr McCormack said.

“But local industries and suppliers will benefit right now as shown by the signing of this major contract.

“Over the next five years, Vossloh will need 32 additional people to support the design and manufacture of more than 200 turnouts primarily in Castlemaine in central Victoria.

“It is but one example of the opportunities for manufacturers in Australia to supply a number of products for Inland Rail, providing much needed employment that will grow and sustain business. And it is providing the confidence to hire more staff.

“The unprecedented economic shock from COVID-19 is something that has affected us all. As we recover, Australia needs people in jobs with our industries open and ready for business.”

Finance Minister, Simon Birmingham, said the Federal Government’s investment in Inland Rail would continue to deliver significant opportunities for Australian businesses and create more jobs for Australians.

“Inland Rail continues to drive economic activity throughout the construction phase and the local manufacture of this critical part of rail infrastructure reinforces the positive flow-on effects of this project right through our economy,” Mr Birmingham said.

“Inland Rail is backing businesses and jobs for Australians including across regional Victoria at a time when we need them most.”

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, Mark Coulton, praised the use of manufacturers in Australia to supply Inland Rail.

“Manufacturers from all over the country are supplying Inland Rail as we complete the 1,700km backbone of our national freight network,” Mr Coulton said.

“Construction of Inland Rail is delivering significant benefits to businesses and people in regional Australia – but Inland Rail will deliver much more, it will deliver the long-term boost that regional Australia deserves.”

Liberal Senator for Victoria, Sarah Henderson, welcomed the news a Castlemaine-based company had won such a significant contract.

“This is just wonderful news for Castlemaine and the Bendigo electorate. This contract is delivering a substantial 32 jobs for the 200 new turnouts Vossloh will be manufacturing,” Senator Henderson said.

“This $80 million turnout contract for the component that allows a train to diverge from one track to another guarantees jobs for Australians and provides stimulus for local manufacturers.

”This represents a very big boost for regional Victoria.”

Chief Executive Officer of Vossloh, AG Oliver Schuster, welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the delivery of Inland Rail.

“This order is the biggest in the history of Vossloh in Australia. It highlights our strong market position and the increasing importance of the Australian market,” Mr Schuster said.

“We are delighted that our long-standing customer ARTC has once again placed its trust in us and that we can contribute to the biggest rail infrastructure project for freight transport in Australia.

“Vossloh is a highly experienced manufacturer in Australia, supplying turnouts, special trackwork components and concrete sleepers to the major rail operators in Australia.

“We have provided our products for some of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects across Australia, and we’re looking forward to getting started on Inland Rail.”

To date, millions of dollars’ worth of contracts have been awarded to Australian manufacturers supplying Inland Rail, including:

  • $51 million in steel rail (38,000 tonnes) supplied by Liberty OneSteel Whyalla, South Australia
  • $25 million in ballast and capping (800,000 tonnes) from Parkes-based companies Calvani Crushing and Ausrock Quarries
  • $13 million worth of culverts weighing 26,625 tonnes from Holcim, Tamworth
  • 116,396 concrete sleepers from Rocla in Mittagong
  • 224,939 sleepers from Austrak in Wagga Wagga
  • 365,000 rail clips from Pandrol, Blacktown

Vossloh Cogifer Australia is part of the Customised Modules division in the Vossloh Group. The company is headquartered in Castlemaine in central Victoria, employs around 70 workers in Australia, and specialises in the manufacture and maintenance of switch systems.

The $80 million contract was executed after a competitive tender process conducted by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

For more information on ARTC procurement, click here.

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