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ARTC unveils Inland Rail solar signalling system

The ARTC says the Inland Rail-first sustainable system will save time and money

In a first for the Inland Rail project, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is using solar power to provide electricity to the new Inland Rail signalling system at Coolleearlee in New South Wales.

The ARTC says this will eliminate the need for 2.2-kilometre trench through local properties to install mains power services to the new site, which is set to operate on the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail.

The system will use solar power rather than mains power for the signalling system to deliver the environmentally friendly solution that will power the 24-hour signalling system.

It will be the first time the Inland Rail has used a solar solution on the network, with the ARTC estimating that using the sustainable system will save nearly seven tonnes of carbon emissions annually and more than $10,000 per year in operational electricity cost savings.

Using solar power has also saved the ARTC around $300,000 in costs, with solar power also set to reduce the Inland Rail’s ongoing maintenance costs as the solar system allows engineers to remotely monitor system performance without having to visit the site.

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The system is fitted with battery back-up that provides 10 days of back-up operation, as the system will be used to support the crossing loop that will operate in the area to make freight rail more efficient.

“Delivering power to rural signalling system can be a real challenge so the successful completion of this solar powered system in Coolleearlee is a great outcome,” project director for N2NS at Inland Rail Peter Borrelli says.

“We always seek to minimise disruption to local communities, so using solar power rather than mains power with all the construction work that would involve is a great result for the local community too.”

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