ARTC crews working on Inland Rail

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded the first contract for its $46 million Southern Highlands Overtaking Opportunities project in New South Wales.

The head design contract has been awarded to engineering consultants Lycopodium. Two further key construction contracts, for early works and main construction, are anticipated to be awarded in 2023.

The $41.6 million Southern Highlands Overtaking Opportunities project, funded by the Federal Government, will deliver overtaking opportunities for trains at Werai in the Southern Highlands, and Joppa Junction near Goulburn.

When completed, the project will allow for more efficient movement of freight and passenger rail services, increasing flexibility, reducing delays and congestion on the ARTC network, particularly for freight and passenger services on the crucial Sydney to Melbourne rail line.

ARTC Group Executive Major Construction Projects, Mike Zambelli, said the project would deliver greater efficiencies for the ARTC rail line once completed in 2024.

“We are pleased to award the head design contract on this project, which will improve freight and passenger rail services on our network,” Mr Zambelli said.

“Site investigations have taken place and detailed design is underway. ARTC will continue to consult with councils and local communities to keep them up to date on the project’s progress.

“The two locations will each provide two ‘double crossovers’ approximately 2km apart, to allow trains of up to 1,800m in length to be overtaken by faster services.”

Subject to approvals, the project construction is expected to start in early 2023 and be completed by late 2024.

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