Inland Rail completes major construction on Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project

Inland Rail has completed major construction on the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 section of track, unlocking a whole range of benefits for local communities.

Inland Rail team at the official opening of the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 section launch

The key milestone for the Inland Rail project was celebrated today at an event in Milguy, where the upgraded track between Camurra and North Star was returned to the track operator, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), allowing trains to service grain silos at Milguy, Croppa Creek, and North Star after two and a half years of construction.

Local elected officials, stakeholders and Inland Rail and principal contractor Trans4m staff came together to celebrate the milestone and recognise the hard work of all involved.

The Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project included upgrading 176km of track along the existing rail corridor. Inland Rail completed upgrades to seven bridges, and has enhanced safety at 57 level crossings, with 10 passive level crossings upgraded to active with bells, lights, and boom gates. The project has utilised Australian-made materials including more than 290,000 concrete sleepers, and 4,700 precast culverts.

Bulk earthworks to rebuild the track foundation and raise it to a higher level, along with associated new bridges and larger culverts under the alignment were also completed to boost the flood resilience of the rail line, which proved effective during severe weather in the region late last year.

Regional communities in northwest New South Wales received an economic boost from the project, with $244 million spent with 137 local businesses, including nearly $9 million spent with First Nations businesses. Over 2,000 people worked on the project, including 678 locals.

Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 is the second section of Inland Rail to complete major construction, following the commissioning of the Parkes to Narromine line in September 2020.

Phase 2 of the project, which involves further upgrades and building 2km of new track north of Moree, is currently in approvals with Inland Rail now preparing a Preferred Infrastructure Report and a Response to Submissions for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Peter Borrelli, Inland Rail Project Director Narrabri to North Star, said:

“The completion of major construction on Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 is a tremendous achievement, and highlights that Inland Rail are getting on with the job of constructing this nation-building project.

“Together with our principal contractor Trans4m Rail, our teams have achieved a fantastic result despite facing challenges during construction of the pandemic, two floods, and mouse plagues in the region.

“The Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project brought with it an economic boost to communities in northwest New South Wales, and we are looking forward to seeing more regional benefits in coming years with construction between Parkes and Albury prioritised for completion by 2027.

“Inland Rail will enhance our national freight and supply chain capabilities, connecting existing freight routes through rail, roads, and ports, supporting Australia’s growth.”