Queensland, Australia – Progress on Australia’s largest freight rail infrastructure project – the Inland Rail program – is leaping forward, with the Future Freight Joint Venture (FFJV) chosen to work on five packages of the high-profile project.
FFJV, which brings together the global capabilities of AECOM and Aurecon, will deliver the pre-construction Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) services and feasibility design for five sections in Queensland, reaching down beyond the New South Wales/Queensland border.
The Inland Rail route will be approximately 1,700 kilometres (km) in length – including 1,200km of enhanced and upgraded tracks and 500km of new sections via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and is expected to be operational in 2024-2025.
“This is a once in a lifetime project being delivered by the ARTC (Australian Rail Track Corporation) and the FFJV team are thrilled to be involved in a project which will change the face of freight movement in Australia while also providing economic growth for regional communities,” said Neil Barr, FFJV board representative and Aurecon’s regional director, southeast Queensland.
“In transforming the way that freight is moved around the country, Inland Rail will also decrease the current reliance on road haulage, making our roads safer and improving the efficiency and reliability of freight movement for consumers and suppliers.”
Future Freight JV Programme Delivery Manager Sjors de Kruijff said the new contract would provide career defining employment prospects for Australian based workers.
“These contracts help us provide dynamic opportunities for our employees to be involved with significant infrastructure projects that will define their careers,” said Sjors.
“In the peak an estimated 70 staff will be working on this contract, which has a total duration of approximately 12 months.
“It’s a hugely exciting time to be involved with infrastructure right now and we expect this iconic project to provide great career opportunities across Queensland and New South Wales.”
Following a competitive process, the ARTC selected FFJV to deliver:
- Calvert to Kagaru – 53km of new dual gauge track, including a 1.1km tunnel through the Teviot Range, 15 grade separations and 13 river bridges
- Helidon to Calvert – 47km of new duel gauge track that will include a new 1.1km tunnel through the Little Liverpool Range
- Gowrie to Helidon – 26km of new dual gauge track including a new 6.38km tunnel to create an efficient route through the steep terrain of the Toowoomba Range
- Border to Gowrie – 210km of both new and upgraded dual gauge track
- North Star to Border – 37km of new track providing vital links between regional farms in the area and export markets
FFJV will be responsible for engineering, primary approvals and community engagement support for the new dual gauge track, designed to ensure connectivity to the Queensland narrow gauge regional network. The scope of work also includes tunnels, flood modelling crossing loops and structures.
The transformative project kicked off in January 2018, and is expected to run for approximately 15 months, during which time the FFJV team will provide the feasibility design that will contribute to the delivery of this iconic project. The work will also form the basis for environmental impact statement documentation and community consultation processes.