Sep 25, 2009

Economic stimulus: new passing loop at Mindaribba completed

Economic stimulus: new passing loop at Mindaribba completed

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

September 25 2009

The modernisation of the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne rail corridor continues unabated with today’s opening of a new passing loop at Mindaribba between Maitland and Dungog in NSW three months ahead of schedule.

Funded from the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $13.6 million project replaced an obsolete 700-metre passing loop with a new one able to cater for trains of up to 1,500-metres long.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, congratulated the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) for moving so quickly to put the Government’s economic stimulus funding to work creating jobs and upgrading our rail infrastructure.

“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the current global recession, our Economic Stimulus Plan is building the modern rail infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term prosperity,” said Mr Albanese.

“The Rudd Labor Government will invest more in rail over the next 12 months than our predecessors did during their 12 years in office.”

The Mindaribba loop project included new track, two new turnouts with entry speeds of 50kph, an overbridge and the installation of the latest signalling technology. This upgrade will enable trains to pass each other more safely and efficiently.

ARTC CEO David Marchant said the new passing loop at Mindaribba complements the other recently constructed loops at Dungog, Nana Glen, Tamrookum and Greenbank.

“The ARTC and the Federal Government are pushing forward with the upgrade of the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne corridor to make rail more competitive,” said Mr Marchant.

“The upgrade of the Mindaribba passing loop is another important milestone in the north-south strategy to increase capacity and cut transit times from Melbourne to Sydney by 20 per cent (up to 2 hours 50 minutes) and by almost 20 per cent (3 hours 50 minutes) between Sydney and Brisbane.

“The work currently underway on this vital rail corridor is part of the biggest rail project to be initiated since the track was originally laid more than a century ago.

“The ARTC is pleased the Government has declared its support for the upgrade of the nation’s rail infrastructure through the $1.2 billion investment it announced late last year – an important contribution to the resurgence of rail.”

The ARTC deliver the project in partnership with TEJV, AANCSA and Downer EDI Works.