MAJOR construction of the Inland Rail’s Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 section is on track for completion at the end of October.

The section between Camurra and North Star in NSW is due to return to service at the end of the month, allowing trains to service grain silos at Milguy, Croppa Creek, and North Star after two and a half years.

ARTC Inland Rail said the milestone signals the completion of major construction on the first phase of Narrabri to North Star, which includes upgrades to 176 kilometres of track along the existing corridor between the two locations.

Australian Rail Track Corporation said its contractor Trans4m is now undertaking finishing and commissioning works along the alignment.

Peter Borrelli, Inland Rail project Director Narrabri to North Star, said the team was proud to complete major construction on the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 section of Inland Rail.

“Together with our delivery partner Trans4m Rail, we have achieved a fantastic result which will bring benefits to local industry, rail operators and communities,” he said.

“I’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we completed the Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 works throughout previous work stages and tight possession windows.

We are thrilled to be able to return the line to service on schedule, despite significant challenges faced during construction including flooding, mouse plagues, and the pandemic.”

ARTC Inland Rail expects Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 works to improve efficiency and reliability on the main line and boost resilience to extreme weather events.

Five crossing loops, seven bridge upgrades, and improved safety at 57 level crossings have all been included in the design to improve safety and service reliability on the network.

Phase 2 of the project involves further upgrades and building two kilometres of new track north of Moree.

The second phase is currently in approvals with Inland Rail now preparing a Preferred Infrastructure Report and a Response to Submissions for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

ARTC Inland Rail said that once Phase 2 is completed, the upgraded track between Narrabri and North Star would allow freight customers to transport heavier freight volumes at higher speeds through its access to the ARTC Hunter Valley Rail Network.

Narrabri to North Star would be the second section of Inland Rail to complete major construction, following the commissioning of the Parkes to Narromine line in September 2020.