THE Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has appointed contractor Martinus as the preferred contractor for the delivery of the Rail Corridor Program for Inland Rail sections in New South Wales and southern Queensland.

The collaborative framework agreement between the ARTC and Martinus includes approximately 570 kilometres of railway between Narromine and Moree in New South Wales and North Star (New South Wales) to Gowrie in Queensland taking in the project’s largest greenfield sections.

ARTC Inland Rail interim chief executive Rebecca Pickering said the appointment of the preferred proponent for the Rail Corridor Program – the role of laying ballast, sleepers and track – will allow accelerated investment and local opportunities to regional New South Wales and Queensland.

“The rail corridor program is a key component of the broader works within the Border to Gowrie, North Star to Border, Narromine to Narrabri and a part of the Narrabri to North Star sections of Inland Rail,” she said.

“The announcement is a crucial part of the Inland Rail project, as it forms the delivery of the two largest greenfield sections of the railway and the previous missing-link rail corridor between Queensland and New South Wales, where no rail line has existed previously.”

Ms Pickering said major construction on these sections will not start until statutory approvals have been received from the New South Wales, Queensland and Australian governments, but the appointment of a preferred proponent is a huge step forward for the project.

“Martinus will now work closely with ARTC to develop strategies to manage supply and logistics for large quantities of long-lead time construction materials,” she said.

“These materials will include almost a million concrete sleepers, approximately 80,000 tonnes of steel rail and 1.7 million tonnes of ballast.”

Ms Pickering said the work would involve the delivery of above-ground works, which includes track construction, rail welding, transportation of materials, and the installation and commissioning of level crossings.

“This appointment at this time also allows Martinus to maximise local jobs and procurement, and they will soon be seeking partnerships with businesses and skilled operators that can support its delivery,” she said.

Ms Pickering said the appointment of Martinus means all the skills, investment, and knowledge gained as a result of this contract will remain in Australia, as it is a locally owned company.

“Martinus will employ approximately 600 people at the peak of this work – these are jobs that Inland Rail is directly supporting.”

Martinus chief executive and founder Treaven Martinus said the award of works marks a significant step for the Australian owned contractor and is keen to work with local business and suppliers to help deliver this generational project hand-in-hand with ARTC.

“We understand the importance of supporting local and are committed to playing a key role in helping build and support regional businesses,” Mr Martinus said.

“Martinus are known in the industry as a new age civil and rail contractor focussed on providing development and growth pathways to better service clients through successful delivery of complex projects.”