The briefings presented industry with the intent, challenges and specification of the project – a 1730km track route that will connect Brisbane to Melbourne via regional southeast Queensland, inland New South Wales and rural Victoria.
“Those experts now have the opportunity to consider what innovations, specific skills and experience they can bring to the project,” federal Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss said.
“They also have a better understanding of the priority elements and indicative timeframes being worked to, so industry can start their planning accordingly.”
The project will connect key regional centres and rural producers to major ports, capitals and distribution hubs across the east coast in an attempt to boost productive rail freight services.
The federal government committed $300 million towards the project to enable the delivery of preconstruction activities such as detailed corridor planning, environmental assessments, community consultation and the start of necessary land acquisitions.
“By making the Inland Rail a priority now, we are putting in place an alternative freight route that will be able to meet the future demands of moving freight along the east coast,” Truss said.
Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO John Fullerton said freight volumes between Brisbane and Melbourne were forecast to triple by 2050, based on 2010 figures.
“The new freight link is expected to offer a competitive service to road freight as transit times between the capital cities will be under 24 hours,” he said.
Consultation with industry will continue until the end of the year, with services briefs for planning approvals, reference design, geotechnical and survey designs, as well as environmental impact assessments, expected in the first half of next year.
Businesses wishing to find out more about the Inland Rail program industry briefings can email this address