McConnell Dowell secures $200m contract to deliver Inland Rail in VIC

Monica Gameng   |   November 5, 2022
Inland Rail Tottenham to Albury (cr: Australian Rail Track Corporation)

Works on the Victorian section of Inland Rail will soon get underway as the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) awards a $200 million contract to McConnell Dowell. 

This contract award will get McConnell Dowell to start construction on the first Inland Rail sites in Victoria – running between Tottenham and Albury. 

“We’re pleased to have McConnell Dowell on board to begin construction on Inland Rail in Victoria, which is a crucial step for Australia’s largest infrastructure project. 

“We’ve selected McConnell Dowell based on their experience delivering major projects including multi-million rail bridges, railway stations and roads both in Australia and New Zealand, and globally. 

“The award of this construction contract follows all primary planning and environmental approvals for Inland Rail in Victoria being obtained at the end of September, which means we can get on with delivering Inland Rail,” ARTC Victoria and South Australia Projects General Manager Ed Walker said. 

The works are anticipated to support over 170 jobs, which will be directly employed by McConnell Dowell, over the life of this Inland Rail project – expected to be completed in 2025. 

The Tottenham to Albury section of Inland Rail will upgrade about 305 kilometres of existing rail track between metropolitan Melbourne and the Victoria-New South Wales border at Albury-Wodonga. 

This project is going to be delivered in two phases – Phase 1: Beveridge to Albury and Phase 2: South of Beveridge. 

Phase 1 will include 12 work sites along the North East rail line from Beveridge to Albury. The first phase works will be carried out in two parts or ‘tranches’: 

  • Tranche 1 works will be delivered at four sites and also include modifications to tracks, utilities and signal gantries along the rail corridor. This tranche will involve upgrading existing infrastructure at: 
  • Seymour-Avenel Road bridge in Seymour 
  • Murray Valley Highway in Barnawartha North 
  • Wangaratta Station Precinct, Wangaratta 
  • Beaconsfield Parade precinct in Glenrowan 
  • Tranche 2 works will be delivered at eight sites. These sites are at varying stages of design with reference design anticipated to commence in late 2022 

“Today’s announcement brings a new wave of enthusiasm to North East Victoria, with construction on this vital project set to start toward the end of this year. 

“Construction activity will bring opportunities for businesses to participate in delivering the work, but there will also be a positive flow-on effect for motels, retailers, cafes and restaurants through to a range of service providers who will reap the benefits of the project. 

“ARTC remains committed to meaningful and respectful consultation with the communities in North East Victoria as we continue through delivery activities for these sites,” Mr Walker said. 

McConnell Dowell will also undertake corridor-wide works as part of their contract. This includes signalling works, track slews and overhead utilities works. 

The contractor has been carrying out initial design and preparatory works at four sites on the North East rail line, enabling double-stacked freight trains to run between Beveridge and Albury. 

“Tranche 1 of Inland Rail in Victoria will bring tens of millions of dollars of new investment into Victorian towns such as Wangaratta, Glenrowan, Seymour and Barnawartha, and McConnell Dowell is extremely proud to have a part to play in this. 

“This project will create fresh opportunities for existing businesses, while supporting the establishment and growth of new businesses. 

“Our team has worked night and day with the ARTC Inland Rail team over the past two years to make this vision a reality, we are very much looking forward to getting boots on the ground and building infrastructure that will change the way that freight moves around Australia for our future generations,” McConnell Dowell T2A Project Manager Tom Foley said. 

The second phase of works, on the other hand, will be delivered south of Beverage. Phase 2 is currently on hold while ARTC works closely with the Australian and Victorian Governments to confirm the location and development of intermodal terminals in the State. 

The Inland Rail development is a transformational project that will deliver up to 1,700 kilometres of new and upgraded tracks, connecting Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. 

Source: Australian Rail Track Corporation (1, 2, 3); Roads & Infrastructure Australia; Infrastructure Magazine 

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Monica Gameng
As Felix's Marketing Assistant since 2015, Monica is responsible for researching and sharing new and progressing projects within the construction and mining sectors in Australia. It's no surprise that Monica has her finger on the pulse of Australian major projects given she has produced more than 1,000 posts. She truly is an industry expert.
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