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Rail project tracking along

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Emily Waite
Emily Waite
Emily Waite has been the Editor of the North Central Review since late April, 2024. With a particular focus on delivering community driven stories, Emily has been responsible for implementing the new 'Words of wisdom' segment, and regularly reaches out to residents both young and old to share their stories with the paper. Emily graduated with high distinctions in a Bachelor of Music from JMC Academy in 2022, and graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Writing and Literature from Deakin University in 2023.

Construction company John Holland has been engaged on a $470 million contract to deliver the remaining eight sites of the Inland Rail Project across the Mitchell Shire, with construction expected to commence in early 2025.

Inland Rail proudly announced the partnership last Thursday, stating that the construction company was selected based on their experience in delivering major civil and rail projects, including the Inland Rail Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 last year and the North East Rail Line Upgrade (NERL) in 2021, and the consortium building of the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project.

Inland Rail Chief Executive Officer Nick Miller praised the partnership, stating it was a ‘major step forward’.

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“This is a major step forward for the Inland Rail project in Victoria with all 12 sites now under contract,” he said.

“Tranche 1 sites at Glenrowan, Wangaratta, Seymour are progressing well, and Barnawartha North is completed.

“John Holland is currently carrying out early works and site investigations before kicking off Tranche 2 construction early in the new year.

“Inland Rail is keen to involve local people and businesses in the project and to maximise the economic and social benefits for communities along the route.”

The Inland Rail Project, which seeks to transform Victoria’s goods transportation system, will see Beveridge connected to Narromine in New South Wales by 2027, before later connecting to Ebenezer, Queensland.

Twelve work sites will be elected between Beveridge and Albury, to enable double-stacked freight trains to pass safely, and ensure everyday products can be delivered faster and more reliably around Australia.

The $31 billion project has already seen Inland Rail spend $80 million in regional Victoria, employing over 1120 people since construction of the project first began.

The project will require the removal or replacement of some infrastructure in the area, including Wandong’s Broadford-Wandong Road bridge, which will be removed and replaced with a higher bridge to give trains more clearance. Similarly, in Broadford, the Marchbanks Road and Short Street bridges will be replaced and the tracks underneath lowered, while in Tallarook and Seymour, the tracks under the Hume Freeway will be lowered by up to two metres.

John Holland will complete the Inland Rail Beveridge to Albury (B2A) – Tranche 2 section of the project, which includes construction at Benalla, Euroa, Wandong, Hume Freeway, Tallarook and Seymour, and three further sites in Broadford.

In addition, both the Euroa and Benalla railway station precincts will undergo major transformations to ensure they are safer and more accessible to passengers, with new platforms, pedestrian underpasses, and additional parking.

John Holland Executive General Manager Rail and Transport Steve Butcher said the project would build on their partnership with Inland Rail to deliver ‘transformative rail projects’.

“[This project will allow] us to leverage our skills and experience in providing end-to-end rail solutions,” he said.

“We want to prioritise local jobs and industry when construction kicks off next year to ensure we’ve got the best possible representation of the regional communities we’re building in.

“We look forward to working closely with these local communities to deliver this transformational project, which will support the future reliability of Australia’s freight network.”

It is expected construction will be completed in 2027, giving local commuters two years of expected interruptions and delays to services while the project is underway.

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