Inland Rail Civil Works Agreements bringing billions in investment for New South Wales and Southern Queensland

Monday 20 September 2021

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has appointed Laing O’Rourke (Freight Connect) and the Acciona and CPB Contractors Joint Venture (ACACPB JV) as preferred proponents for the detailed design and civil works planning for construction of Inland Rail in parts of New South Wales (NSW) and Southern Queensland.

The agreements for the Southern and Central Civil works were announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce on 20 September 2021. These companies will now seek partnerships with businesses and skilled operators that can support delivery of the 306 kilometre Greenfield section between Narromine and Narrabri (N2N) and approximately 100 kilometres of civil works from Narrabri through to North Star (N2NS) and across the border to Whetstone in Queensland. Supply and servicing opportunities exist for transport operators, fencing, quarries, earthworks and electrical companies. These are extensive programs of work, bringing billions of dollars in construction investment to Australia’s east coast, boosting economic activity for regional communities.

The Southern Civil Works program with ACACPB JV involves reviewing the reference designs and civil works construction planning for the 306 kilometre Greenfield section between N2N in NSW and is initially valued at approximately $20 million. Construction works for N2N will include 58 bridge crossings, 14 new viaducts and 630 culvert banks, requiring a workforce of up to 2,000 people at the peak of construction.

N2N is the largest section of the 1,700km Inland Rail project and will contribute significantly to the estimated 7,500 workforce needed in NSW at the peak of construction in 2023-24. Subject to planning and environmental approvals, ARTC anticipate that construction activities will commence in late 2022, worth approximately $1.2 billion.

The Central Civil Works program with Freight Connect involves reviewing the reference designs and civil works construction planning for approximately, 14 kilometres on N2NS Phase 2, 39 kilometres on North Star to Border (NS2B) and 47 kilometres to Whetstone in Queensland on the Border to Gowrie (B2G) section. The initial collaborative framework agreement (CFA) for these works is valued at approximately $20 million. Subject to planning and environmental approvals, ARTC anticipate that construction activities on this works package will commence in mid-2022, worth approximately $1.2 billion. The N2NS Phase 1 section of Inland Rail alone has supported work for 571 people to date.

To date, 2,433 people have been employed to work on the Inland Rail project, with more than $2.2 billion committed to over 400 companies across Australia. These civil works programs will further support hundreds of jobs, transforming the way freight is moved across Australia.