Inland Rail celebrates the completion of first Victorian project

The Inland Rail project has accomplished an important milestone with the first of the twelve projects in Victoria completed.

New lower track laid at Murray Valley Highway site, Barnawartha North during the September possession

Inland Rail and construction partner McConnell Dowell have finished the work to lower the rail track under the Murray Valley Highway bridge at Barnawartha North, paving the way in future for double-stacked freight trains to pass through the section safely.

Work began on the project in November 2022 and more than 125 workers contributed to lowering the track by approximately 1.4 metres under the highway bridge.

Located 18 kilometres west of Wodonga, the project required 400 metres of track to be dug up and five Olympic swimming pools of soil to be removed to allow double-stacked freight trains to pass underneath the bridge.

The bridge foundations have been reinforced, drainage installed, levee banks constructed, 6,000 tonnes of rock ballast deposited, and 800 new concrete sleepers and 800 metres of rail laid.

Inland Rail is a nation building project that will transform how goods are moved around Australia. In Victoria, works will be undertaken at 12 sites, including Barnawartha North to ensure everyday products can be delivered faster and more reliably around Australia.

Thanking the workers onsite today, Ed Walker, ARTC Victoria and South Australian General Manager Projects said:

“One down, eleven to go in Victoria.

“The construction team worked tirelessly to complete the job at Barnawartha North and now the focus will move south to complete the remaining sites.

“Inland Rail is such an important project and will be instrumental in moving freight from the road to rail.

“Once completed each double stacked 1.8km train will remove the equivalent of 110 B-Doubles from our cities and highways.

“Moving freight on rail is not only safer but will significantly reduce our carbon emissions.”

Tom Foley, McConnell Dowell, Project Manager – Inland Rail said:

“This is such an important milestone for the Beveridge to Albury section of the project and has been years in the making.

“It’s a real thrill to be involved in a nation building project such as this and to deliver these works safely and on time for ARTC.

“This particular site provided many challenges to both McConnell Dowell and ARTC and to have it safely completed allows both teams to concentrate on the remaining sites in the second half of our construction program.”

IMAGE: New lower track laid at Murray Valley Highway site, Barnawartha North during the September possession.