ARTC moves closer to upgrade with environmental review approval

The AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation said an environmental assessment of its plan to upgrade 35 kilometers of track between the Hunter Valley Coal Network and Inland Rail has been approved.

According to ARTC, the upgrade of the Narrabri to Turrawan (N2TLU) line will facilitate increased freight volumes to travel from the North West of New South Wales to the ports of Newcastle and Sydney for l ‘export.

ARTC said the upgrade would also allow greater volumes of freight to be moved on each train, reducing operating and transportation costs to improve supply chain efficiency and competitiveness of Australian exports.

The Australian government announced $44.7 million in funding for the project in December 2020.

ARTC said it has now moved closer to the start of the construction phase of the project following the recent approval of the environmental factors review.

The review was submitted along with a report containing public submissions on the planned upgrade.

ARTC received two public submissions on its review of environmental factors, to which it responded in the submission report.

One submission raised concerns about construction traffic, dust and noise from using a local quarry, but ARTC noted that the quarry in question was beyond its control and management.

“ARTC has already completed project development activities including geotechnical investigations, track alignment, survey and constructability assessments on the N2TLU,” ARTC said in a statement.

“The upgrade will be delivered from Narrabri Coal Junction at Whitehaven Coal, south of Turrawan, to the future interface with Inland Rail at Narrabri North, with construction due to begin later this year.”

ARTC said it will continue to update the community as the upgrade work progresses.

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