COMMUNITIES of north-west New South Wales are closer to experiencing Inland Rail with the joint-venture Trans4m Rail announced as the constructor for 171km of upgraded rail track between Narrabri and North Star.

Deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister Michael McCormack welcomed the Australian Rail Track Corporation signing the contract with Trans4m Rail.

“Inland Rail is going to change the freight task in Australia and in doing so will create opportunity in regional Australia with unprecedented investment and job creation,” Mr McCormack said.

“This nationally significant infrastructure is being built by the skills and expertise of Australian businesses – businesses that invest locally, drive regional employment and give back to communities along this 1,700km corridor of commerce.”

Finance minister Simon Birmingham said that Inland Rail construction was supporting businesses and jobs.

“With the award of this contract, there will be flow-on effects through the economy with more local businesses and suppliers set to come on-board and support Inland Rail construction,” Senator Birmingham said.

Local member for Parkes and Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government Mark Coulton said construction of the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail would begin before the end of 2020.