Two NSW Junee to Griffith rail projects get underway, creating jobs

Monica Gameng   |   March 6, 2021
Freight train at Cootamundra (cr: AustralianTrains YoutTube)

Works to upgrade the Junee to Griffith rail line in New South Wales are now underway as part of the Fixing Country Rail program which aims to improve efficiency and lower the cost of rail freight movement. 

The $60.4 million project will upgrade the Junee to Griffith rail line, providing a better freight link to port as well as domestic markets. 

“This is a significant investment in regional rail that will upgrade the 174-kilometre rail line between Junee and Griffith, so trains carrying up to 25 tonnes axle loads can use the track at improved speeds. 

“The upgrade will involve re-railing the line and will mean train speeds can increase from 50 to 80 kilometres an hour, ensuring shorter delivery times and reducing transport costs for both producers and consumers,” Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said. 

This rail line upgrade is anticipated to support jobs as well as encourage growth and economic productivity of local food and fibre producers and consumers by reducing the cost of transporting goods to market. 

“It's great to see work starting on this important project for the Riverina’s producers and their customers, and the boost to the local economy with 100 jobs created during the upgrade. 

“It's also a win for our communities, shifting more than 200,000 tonnes of freight off our roads and onto the rail network. This will mean safer roads and a stronger rail network in our region,” Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said. 

The upgrade is due to be completed by the end of this year and works are being undertaken by John Holland, on behalf of Transport for NSW. 

“We've had an amazing agricultural season and this will mean some of that produce can go on rail and some farmers can reduce their freight costs by using rail. 

“We expect these upgrades to be completed by the end of the year, just before Christmas,” Transport for NSW Director South Region Sam Knight said. 

In addition to the upgrade, design and planning works are also underway on a new Junee to Griffith rail passing loop at Coolamon. 

This $11.66 million project – which is also going to be delivered under the Fixing Country Rail program – will include extending the current 900-metre loop to 1,500 metres to help improve access for modern and heavier freight trains. 

“The extension of the loop is important to improving the efficiency of freight movements and is part of wider upgrades being carried out on the Junee to Griffith rail line to ensure a stronger and safer regional NSW,” Minister Toole said. 

Once the rail loop is extended, it will enable longer trains to be taken off the main line while they are being loaded which, in turn, allows other rail traffic to pass by undisturbed. 

“It will mean a better run around facilities at the GrainCorp and Emerald Grain loading sites and will allow the XPT to pass by without delays on the Junee-Griffith main line. 

“We are also upgrading the sleepers and drainage, and building a new turnout with around 60 people to be employed during work to build the loop, which is expected to start early to mid-next year,” Ms Cooke said. 

The State Government is investing approximately $400 million through the Fixing Country Rail program to upgrade rail lines to enable them to carry heavier loads; deliver longer sidings and loops to accommodate longer trains and free up operations on the main line; as well as some branch reactivations. 

Source: Transport for NSW (1, 2

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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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