STEADY progress continues on the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail, according to the project’s director Peter Borrelli, who spoke at the Australasian Railway Association annual Rail Freight Conference in Brisbane.

The 200-kilometre section is being built in two phases. The first phase has three stages: 57 kilometres of track from north of Narrabri to Penneys Road, 28 kilometres of track from Penneys Road to South Moree, completed in 2021, and 80 kilometres of track from Camurra to North Star.

Phase Two of the N2NS project will see 15 kilometres of existing track upgraded, plus 2.3 kilometres of new rail track built between Moree and Camurra.

The construction of Phase One of the N2NS section will see the existing rail corridor upgraded to being able to accommodate double-stacked trains up to 1.8 kilometres in length.

During construction of Phase One, some 170 kilometres of old track has already been ripped out and nearly 300,000 old railway sleepers removed, with 135 kilometres of new track and 225,000 new sleepers already installed.

In addition, Inland Rail has installed 4250 new precast culverts, built seven new bridges, and completed upgrades to some 21 level crossings in the N2NS program to date.

Mr Borrelli said nearly 2000 people have worked on N2NS.

“We are all very proud of what we have already achieved on the N2NS section, especially since we have faced significant challenges in the form of inclement weather and dealing with the COVID pandemic,” he said.

“On the N2NS project we have delivered around 10,000 tonnes of capping and ballast per day and we have used around 320 tonnes of quick lime daily and have used nearly 5,000 precast reinforced concrete box culverts and built seven new bridges.”