INDUSTRY body the Australian Logistics Council has welcomed the government’s announcement it will invest $44.7m for the Australian Rail Track Corporation to upgrade 35km of the Narrabri to Turrawan Line between the Hunter Valley Coal Network and Inland Rail.

The project is expected to deliver a corridor from northern NSW to the Port of Newcastle capable of 25 tonne axle load trains at 80kmh.

“Investment in infrastructure combined with a collaborative approach with industry to planning for preservation of freight lands and corridors are key to a successful and functioning future economy.  Providing clarity and security of the pipeline encourages investment,” said ALC chief executive Kirk Coningham.

“We applaud the government for committing to this plan.” The project is to start in mid-2021 with a view to completion in 2023.