Both sections were recently declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) projects by the NSW Department of Planning.
CSSI status is allocated to high-priority infrastructure projects that are essential for the state for economic, social or environmental reasons.
In a recent announcement, Darren Chester, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, said, “The Inland Rail works would stimulate significant development, investment and innovation opportunities for many communities. This critical infrastructure will be the catalyst for new manufacturing and production opportunities throughout regional Australia.”
Together with Mott MacDonald, WSP will deliver consulting services to provide engineering, design, environmental assessment and approval activities for these two packages.
Jansen Stewart, WSP’s Client Director for Rail, said, “We are pleased to be continuing our many years of work alongside the Australian Rail Track Corporation on Inland Rail.
“Parkes to Narromine and Narrabri to North Star are arguably the most significant portions of the railway for NSW, particularly from a triple bottom-line standpoint. The projects will support thousands of jobs during construction, enhance access to domestic and international markets, and improve road safety while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Increased reliability and lower cost of freight rail is a key driver for the project.
“Not only will the works support improved efficiencies in the operation of the overall freight rail network, they will also divert freight from road to rail, helping to reduce congestion along some of the busiest highways that run along the east coast.”
Inland Rail is Australia’s largest freight rail infrastructure project which will complete the spine of the national freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland. With early works now underway, it is expected to be operational in 2024-2025.