$3.4 billion for rail programs
The Federal Government has announced a $3.4 billion injection for the country’s rail system.
The Federal Budget package will involve the reconstruction 3,771 kilometres of existing railway track and lay a further 235 kilometres of new track.
In the coming financial year, work will start on the following projects re-railing and re-sleepering the 239 kilometres line between Albury, Melbourne and Geelong as well as upgrading the older bridges.
At the other end of the construction cycle, the following major upgrades are expected to be completed over the next 12 months:
- Reducing the severity of the curves at some 58 locations between Newcastle and the Queensland border by realigning the existing track, improvements which will allow trains to run at higher speeds - Federal contribution: $170 million;
- Replacing all the old timber and steel sleepers with one million new concrete sleepers along the 691 kilometre line between Broken Hill and Parkes - Federal contribution: $253 million;
- Extending seven existing passing loops on the line between Melbourne and Adelaide - Federal contribution: $76 million.
Of the 32 major upgrades scheduled to be delivered across the interstate rail network by the end of the existing Program in 2013-14, 13 are already completed and 11 are currently under construction.