WORK is now underway at Inland Rail sites in Glenrowan and Wangaratta in Victoria.

Early works have begun at the Victorian worksites, and major construction is scheduled to commence in early 2023.

Speaking at the AusRail 2022 conference in Brisbane, Inland Rail interim chief executive officer Rebecca Pickering said momentum is building on delivering the Inland Rail project.

She noted the works progressing in Victoria follow the opening of the Narrabri to North Star section in NSW earlier this month, with the remaining phase one works due for completion early next year.

“Inland Rail is being built to create a new freight future for Australia and construction is gaining momentum, and we are really looking forward to continuing that momentum in 2023,” Ms Pickering said.

“The work we are doing is not only connecting Australia’s freight network but is also a real catalyst for communities and businesses to unlock benefits and opportunities.

“Those benefits are clear from the first phase of construction between Narromine and North Star, which has supported work for nearly 2000 people since November 2020, including more than 600 locals – nearly 170 of whom are First Nations workers.”

Ms Pickering said nearly 140 local businesses have shared in nearly $200 million in contracts supporting and servicing the build.

“We are also very proud that our Inland Rail Skills Academy has already delivered training to more than 2000 people along the alignment, helping to develop the skills needed to build a better future for our communities.

“Inland Rail is committed to working in partnership with our stakeholders and communities to deliver long-term value.”

The AusRail conference in Brisbane began on Monday 5 December and concluded on Wednesday 7 December.