The first of 200,000 sleepers have been delivered to Peak Hill in preparation for the first stage of the Inland Rail project in NSW.
Twenty new jobs were created in the Southern Highlands to produce the 200,000 concrete sleepers which have begun rolling off the production line at Rocla’s Braemar concrete sleeper plant in Mittagong after the company was awarded a $20 million contract for the work.
Over the next six months, Pacific National will run a train once a week from Mittagong to Peak Hill carrying around 9000 concrete sleepers each trip.
Inland Rail Programme Delivery Director Simon Thomas said the concrete sleeper contract was another example of Australian businesses benefiting from the transformational Inland Rail project.
“Inland Rail is already securing jobs in regional Australia and our cities,” Mr Thomas said.
“The benefits of Inland Rail will be seen far beyond the Inland Rail route, and these 20 extra jobs in the Southern Highlands are just the beginning.
“The 200,000 concrete sleepers required for the Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail is the first of 1.5 million that will be required to build the full 1700 km length of the Inland Rail from Brisbane to Melbourne, opening a pipeline of further opportunities for Australian suppliers.
“Inland Rail is a truly national project.
“The track between Parkes and Narromine will have Whyalla steel rail, Mittagong concrete sleepers and other material contracts from all over Australia will be announced shortly.”
Pacific National President of Freight Andrew Adam said Inland Rail will be a ‘game changer’ for regional producers, businesses and exporters wanting to transport their goods and commodities safer, faster and cheaper to the major ports of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
“Pacific National is proud to be part of the construction of Inland Rail, providing a service where each freight train will haul around 2500 tonnes of concrete sleepers 400 kilometres from Mittagong to Parkes,” Mr Adam said.
“When it comes to hauling bulk freight, rail is the safest, most efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of transport – to move 200,000 concrete sleepers by road would take a thousand B-double trucks.”
Rocla General Manager Bruce Nicholson said the company employed more than 600 people and it had a long history of supplying ARTC and other Australian rail companies.
“Rocla has successfully delivered infrastructure solutions across Australia for 96 years and we are delighted to be a key supplier for this nation-building program,” Mr Nicholson said.