The Australian Rail and Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded a major contract valued at about $200 million for initial construction of Inland Rail sites in Victoria.

McConnell Dowell was awarded the contract, which is expected to support over 170 jobs during the course of the project, and is due to be completed in 2025.

ARTC Victoria and South Australia Projects General Manager, Ed Walker, said the McConnell Dowell had already begun initial design and preparatory works on the existing North East Rail Line to accommodate future Inland Rail services.

“We’re pleased to have McConnell Dowell on board to begin construction on Inland Rail in Victoria, which is a crucial step for Australia’s largest infrastructure project,” Mr Walker said.

“McConnell Dowell has already carried out initial design and preparatory works at four sites on the existing North East Rail Line to enable Inland Rail double-stacked freight trains to run between Beveridge and Albury.

“Now they have been confirmed as the construction contractor for sites in the first tranche, they will get on with the job of building the designs they have been developing.”

Mr Walker said that McConnell Dowell was chosen for its proven experience in delivering major rail and infrastructure projects.

“We’ve selected McConnell Dowell based on their experience delivering major projects including multi-million rail, bridges, railway stations and roads both in Australia and New Zealand, and globally,” Mr Walker said.

“The award of this construction contract follows all primary planning and environmental approvals for Inland Rail in Victoria being obtained at the end of September, which means we can get on with delivering Inland Rail.

“Today’s announcement brings a new wave of enthusiasm to North East Victoria, with construction on this vital project set to start toward the end of this year.”

Construction in the first tranche of Inland Rail works involves upgrades to existing infrastructure, including:

  • Seymour-Avenel Road bridge in Seymour
  • Murray Valley Highway in Barnawartha North
  • Wangaratta Station Precinct, Wangaratta
  • Beaconsfield Parade precinct in Glenrowan

McConnell Dowell will also deliver corridor wide works as part of the new contract, including signalling works, track slews and overhead utilities works.

McConnell Dowell T2A Project Manager, Tom Foley, said the early works would generate tens-of-millions in new investment for regional Victorian townships.

“Tranche 1 of Inland Rail in Victoria will bring tens of millions of dollars of new investment into Victorian towns such as Wangaratta, Glenrowan, Seymour and Barnawartha, and McConnell Dowell is extremely proud to have a part to play in this,” Mr Foley said.

“This project will create fresh opportunities for existing businesses, while supporting the establishment and growth of new businesses.

“Our team has worked night and day with the ARTC Inland Rail team over the past two years to make this vision a reality, we are very much looking forward to getting boots on the ground and building infrastructure that will change the way that freight moves around Australia for our future generations.”

Feature Image: (From left) McConnell Dowell T2A Project Manager, Tom Foley; ARTC Project Director VIC & SA Projects, Matthew Hart; McConnell Dowell General Manager VIC & TAS, David Simms; ARTC General Manager VIC & SA Projects, Ed Walker. Photo: ARTC.

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