Inland Rail is marking major milestones in its development with the opening of the new Glenrowan Bridge, and the upcoming commencement of a massive suite of works on the North-East rail line. 

The 145m-long Glenrowan bridge has officially been opened and will replace the 60-year old existing bridge to allow for enough clearance for double-double stacked freight trains. 

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Inland Rail has designed the bridge to incorporate a network of pathways to better connect Glenrowan’s heritage sites, improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, and enhance landscaping and finishes to respect the precinct’s heritage.

In total, 51 concrete beams are incorporated into the bridge – 30 for the vehicle section and 21 beams for the pedestrian section of the bridge. More than 1,200m³ of concrete has been used to construct the bridge.

Work on the site will continue following the bridge opening with the old bridge dismantled and removed, landscaping and lighting.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Catherine King, said that Inland Rail will better connect regional businesses, manufacturers, and producers to national and global markets.

“It will enhance our national freight and supply chain capabilities, connecting existing freight routes through rail, roads and ports,” Ms King said. 

“Freight will be delivered faster and more reliably, with fewer carbon emissions.”

Federal Minister for Finance, Katy Gallagher, said that the Glenrowan community and the thousands of visitors that flock to the historic township every year will benefit from the better connected and safer heritage precinct.

“To support Inland Rail, the government is investing in new bridges, improved access to railway stations, new railway platforms and additional station car parks.”

North-East rail line

In continuing works on other aspects of the project, work will be carried out day and night across Inland Rail sites at Wangaratta, Glenrowan, Seymour-Avenel Road at Seymour, Kilmore East, Tallarook and Wallan from Thursday 7 to Wednesday 13 March.

Together with construction partner, McConnell Dowell, ARTC Inland Rail will demolish and remove two bridges, lower tracks, decommission old rail lines, install new tracks, construct a new station platform, upgrade rail signalling, and conduct track slewing.

The program of works includes:

Wangaratta

  • Remove the remaining sections of the old Green Street bridge
  • Remove 27,000m³ of soil and lower 900 metres of track
  • Install 100m of track drainage
  • Decommission and commence backfill of the ‘dive’ railway line
  • Build 880m of the new west track, including construction ballast, sleepers and rail

Glenrowan

  • Demolish and remove the old Beaconsfield Parade bridge, including bridge decks, piers and abutment walls
  • Install track drainage

Seymour-Avenel Road Bridge, Seymour

  • Demolish and remove the old Seymour-Avenel Road Bridge, including bridge decks, central pier and eastern abutment

Wallan

  • Slewing (shifting) the track at Wallan Railway Station, including the cutting and removal of rail, excavation and replacement ballast and rail

Kilmore East/Tallarook

  • Installation and commissioning of signal gantries

Essential rail maintenance and improvement work will also be carried out by ARTC between Albion in Melbourne’s west and Moss Vale in southern New South Wales.

The track possession will see essential rail maintenance and improvements including track tamping, structure repairs, turnout maintenance and mudhole removal.

ARTC will also conduct routine track maintenance activities along the length of the line including signalling works, and vegetation control.

ARTC Victoria and South Australian General Manager Projects, Ed Walker, said that this is the largest scope of works ever conducted during a track possession.

“From Seymour to Barnawartha we will have teams of workers pushing ahead with the Inland Rail project,” Mr Walker said. 

“Wangaratta will be especially busy with work extending beyond the usual 60-hour track possession to complete the removal of the Green St bridge, backfill the ‘dive’, lower tracks, build a new platform and install the new west track.

“We apologise for the disruptions and thank local communities for their patience and understanding as we carry out the work on this major nation building project.”

Featured image: The opening of the Glenrowan Bridge. Image credit: ARTC Inland Rail.

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