Narwonah MDC earthworks continuing at pace

Diggers, dozers and dump trucks have been buzzing around the site of the Narwonah Materials Distribution Centre (MDC), located 8km south of Narromine. Five weeks of good weather has enabled works to progress quickly on the approximately 3.2km long rail yard.

Aerial view of the Narwonah Materials Distribution site in construction – looking northwest

Since our last update, excavation has continued in the area that will eventually become the location of the operational offices (the upside-down pyramid in the top right of the image above). The area is being levelled and the material excavated is being repurposed in other earthworks around the site.

The road leading from the office location connects to where the main rail yard will eventually be (the long oblong-shaped area on the left side of the image above). This is where three rail sidings will be built. Each siding will initially receive trains delivering rail, sleepers and ballast to the yard.

Once construction of the N2N rail track begins, trains will collect these materials for distribution and installation along the alignment. Track welding to join 27.5m long rails into longer lengths will also be performed in this area.

The rail yard has also been slightly re-aligned to avoid the Gilgai areas (the green ponds in the bottom right of the image). Recent cultural heritage investigations with local First Nations representatives identified the presence of aboriginal artifacts, and final cultural heritage assessments are continuing to determine preferred treatment.

Our MDC construction contractor Martinus also recently improved 2km of Craigie Lea Lane (the road fringed by trees running left to right at the top of the image). We are grateful to receive positive feedback from local residents about the smoother and safer road surface.

The MDC workforce continues to grow, with 25 people now working on site and around 100 likely to be deployed at the peak of construction and operation. Once operational, the MDC will be the biggest temporary rail construction yard in the southern hemisphere, allowing roughly 370km of the new Inland Rail track infrastructure to be built between Narromine and the NSW / QLD border, and supply track materials to some Inland Rail projects to the south.

IMAGE: aerial view of the Narwonah Materials Distribution site in construction – looking northwest.