EIGHTY-THREE kilometres of upgraded Inland Rail track is now open.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation confirmed today (25 November) it has completed work on a section of track between Narrabri and Moree.

Trains can now use the line for the first time in seven months. The first grain train is expected to run in the coming days.

Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government minister Catherine King said Australia’s transport network moves around 4 billion tonnes of goods across the country each year.

“The opening of the upgraded Inland Rail track between Moree and Narrabri marks a major milestone in delivering a more efficient and connected national freight network,” she said.

“Farmers in North West New South Wales gearing up for another busy harvest year will benefit from 83 kilometres of new track on the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail which will support the movement of grain to export ports on Australia’s east coast.”

Inland Rail Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) project director Peter Borrelli said approvals are expected for other Inland Rail projects in New South Wales early next year.

He said the projects would benefit supply chains and local economy across the Central West.

“ARTC Inland Rail has worked very hard to have the line complete in time for the commencement of grain harvest season, and to ensure minimal interference with farming operations,” Mr Borrelli said.

“With trains now running for the first time in over seven months, we are urging the community to make sure they take extra care near the rail line and at all level crossings.”

ARTC Inland Rail said it has constructed new embankments, bridges and drainage culverts, replaced existing sleepers with concrete sleepers and laid new ballast and steel tracks.

It has also completed bulk earthworks to rebuild the track foundation, boosting the rail line’s flood immunity.

The foundation proved resilient during recent inclement weather in the region, according to ARTC Inland Rail.

There have also been upgrades to level crossings, signage and road approaches.