AUSTRALIAN Rail Track Corporation and contractor McConnell Dowell will lower a portion of track by up to 2.5 metres, lay 800 metres of new rail, lay 800 new concrete sleepers and deposit 2000 tonnes of stone ballast at Barnawartha North next week.

The works will be carried out during what ARTC calls a “work blitz” over 60 hours between 23-25 September.

ARTC said 13,000 cubic metres of soil would also be removed from the site during the works, which aim to lower the railway line to allow double-stacked trains to pass under the Murray Valley Highway bridge.

The soil removed will be used on site to construct levee banks and the remaining donated to the Wodonga TAFE driver training complex to reshape their 4WD training course.

Vegetation mulch from the site has already been removed and donated to the Wodonga Saleyards.

The works possession allows ARTC significant access to the rail corridor to complete a wide range of maintenance and Inland Rail works at multiple locations between Sydney and Melbourne that cannot be completed between train services.

The Barnawartha North project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Ed Walker, ARTC Victoria and South Australian general manager projects said the 60-hour track possession is important for the construction team to complete a large volume of work in a short time.

“During the September possession we’ll also see significant construction work at Inland Rail sites in Glenrowan and Wangaratta,” he said.

“Beams spanning the rail corridor will be installed at Glenrowan, and the new pedestrian underpass at Wangaratta will be constructed and covered over to be completed later.”