Rail network unification a step closer

Queensland rail line handed over to ARTC in a move that will deliver uniform standards from Queensland to Western Australia

January 15, 2010

The Queensland standard gauge rail line from the Queensland border to Acacia Ridge will be transferred to the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) under a 60 year lease from midnight tonight.

ARTC CEO David Marchant says the lease will unify the interstate freight rail network through a common set of standards from Queensland to Western Australia.

"This lease is a major step forward in the development of the national standard gauge mainline rail network into a one stop shop from Brisbane to Perth," Marchant says

"This enables single access contracts for train operators from Acacia Ridge terminal in Queensland to Kalgoorlie and Melbourne, excluding the Sydney Metro area."

"It will facilitate common network rules, operating standards and access regulation in place of 6 individual state arrangements which has dominated the history of rail in this country," Mr Marchant said.

According to the ARTC, the lease will allow it to plan and implement practical long-term infrastructure improvements for the Queensland border to Acacia Ridge standard gauge rail in line with improvements on the national standard gauge network.

The lease agreement was marked by the completion of a $55.8 million concrete resleepering project between the Queensland border and Acacia Ridge.

The ARTC laid 105,000 concrete sleepers and a new line and signal infrastructure.

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