Dec 11, 2009

Economic Stimulus: passing loop at Kilbride upgraded

Economic Stimulus: passing loop at Kilbride upgraded

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 11 2009

The modernisation of the Sydney to Brisbane rail corridor has reached another major milestone with today’s opening of the newly extended passing loop at Kilbride between Maitland and Dungog.

Part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan, the $11.2 million project extended the existing loop, constructed new turnouts, laid new rail and sleepers, and installed new signalling equipment.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) received stimulus money to build a new passing loop (Mindaribba) as well as upgrade and extend five existing loops (Kilbride, Kerewong, Loadstone, Kilawarra and Johns River) along the line between Sydney and Brisbane.

“In less than 12 months the ARTC has completed all six projects, putting in place infrastructure able to cater for much longer trains of up to 1,500 metres,” said Mr Albanese.

“As well as supporting jobs and businesses during the global recession, our Economic Stimulus Plan has been building the modern rail infrastructure vital to Australia’s long term prosperity.

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

ARTC CEO David Marchant said the new and upgraded passing loops will improve the capacity and speed of the interstate rail network.

“The ARTC is pushing forward with the upgrade of the Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne corridor to make rail more competitive. In fact, we’re undertaking the biggest upgrade since the track was originally laid more than a century ago,” said Mr Marchant.

“Completion of work on the Kilbride passing loop is another important milestone in our efforts to 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 ARTC delivered the project in partnership with TEJV, Robsons, Downer EDI and Ansaldo.