Dec 17, 2009

Maroona to Serviceton re-sleepering

Another economic stimulus project completed:

Maroona to Serviceton re-sleepering

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 17 2009

A major milestone in the modernisation of the East West rail corridor has been reached with the re-sleepering of line between Maroona to Serviceton now completed.

The $100 million project – part of the Rudd Labor Government’s Economic Stimulus Plan – replaced all the timber sleepers with 439,000 new concrete sleepers.

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 the nation’s rail infrastructure.

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

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

The final stage of this $100 million project – the re-sleepering of the dual gauge track in Geelong – is due to be completed early next year.

ARTC CEO David Marchant said the upgrade of the line between Maroona and Serviceton will improve the overall efficiency of the interstate network.

“Concrete sleepers have a significant advantage over timber sleepers, particularly considering Australia’s rugged topography. They will greatly improve the track’s capacity and reduced transit times,” said Mr Marchant.

“Their use will also reduce the need for temporary speed restrictions in the summer months. Whereas wooden sleepers tend to buckle on extremely hot days, concrete sleepers hold the rail firmly in place.

“The upgrade is good news for the wider community as well. Not only has the project generated jobs and provided a boost to the local economy, the new track will allow more freight to be transported by rail – which overtime will lead to fewer trucks on our roads.”

One 1,500-metre train can replace around 100 trucks.

ARTC partnered with Downer EDI to deliver the project. It supported around 120 jobs and took seven months to complete using sleepers produced by Austrak’s Wagga Wagga and Geelong factories as well as Rocla’s Mittagong factory.