ARTC Inland Rail has completed a 60-hour track work “possession” across three north-east Victorian project sites.

The Melbourne to Sydney line was closed from Saturday 23 September until Monday 25 September while major construction work was underway.

In that time, nearly 200 workers from the Australian Rail Track Corporation and contractor McConnel Dowell worked around the clock at Glenrowan, Wangaratta and Barnawartha North.

Construction works at the three sites are part of the 1600-kilometre Inland Rail project that aims to improve freight efficiency.

 Ed Walker, ARTC Victoria and South Australian general manager projects, said the possession was a success and all planned construction works were completed.

“Importantly, the ARTC Inland Rail team and our contractors McConnell Dowell delivered the work safely,” he said.

“We work hard to keep the disruption around the sites to a minimum and we thank the local communities for their patience and understanding as we carry out the construction tasks.”

In Glenrowan, a 750-tonne crane lifted 16 pre-cast concrete beams into place to form the bridge over the rail corridor.

At the Wangaratta Railway Station, 25 metres of the existing rail track and station platform were cut, the new underpass was dug out with 30 trucks removing 6000 tonnes of soil and 30 pre-cast concrete sections forming the underpass passageway installed.

Barnawartha North saw the removal of five Olympic swimming pools worth of soil to lower the track by up to 2.5 metres, before 2000 tonnes of stone ballast was deposited and 800 new concrete sleepers and 800 metres of new rail laid.

ARTC Inland Rail expected to continue work in Wangaratta over an additional two days, closing the railway station until Thursday 28 September.