Inland Rail - Narrabri to North Star
Preferred bidder announced
Greenfield (construction) or brownfield (government asset divestment) projects needed or likely to occur within the next five years, but is not formally proposed by a state, territory or major local government.
The project or divestment is supported by a state, territory or major local government, is subject to studies or other processes (such as pre-feasibility or scoping studies or business case development), and is likely to proceed to formal announcement.
The project has a firm commitment and timeline from a state, territory or major local government, but has not yet entered the market.
The project or transaction is under procurement (such as a call for Expressions of Interest, requests for tender, or another offer to the market).
Preferred bidder announced
A preferred bidder has been selected and is in exclusive negotiations.
Projects that have progressed to contractual close remain on ANZIP for 12 months.
ANZIP is focused only on major infrastructure activity, above the following thresholds:
Construction projects: > AUD$300m
Investable greenfield & brownfield: > AUD$100m
All greenfield and brownfield projects and divestments: > NZD $100 million
The circa $10 billion Inland Rail project would see the creation of a 1,700 kilometre Melbourne to Brisbane freight rail line along Australia's east-coast - bypassing the congested Sydney network and the circuitous north coast line via Australia’s four richest farming regions in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
The Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section is one of the most advanced sections of Inland Rail and will comprise:
- reconstruction and upgrading of 188 kilometres of existing track between Narrabri and North Star via Moree
- 1.6 kilometres of new track at Camurra to bypass the hairpin curve
- establishing five passing loops
- level crossing works
- realignment of 1.5 kilometres of the Newell Highway near Bellata along with new road bridges for - the Newell highway and Jones Avenue in Moree
- re-establishing and/or expanding drainage works next to the track including the replacement of existing culverts and bridges, and
- minor changes to track alignments at Bellata, Gurley and Moree Stations.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for N2NS was released for public exhibition on 15 November and submissions closed on 15 December 2017. The EIS was put on public exhibition again in December 2019, with submissions due by 31 January 2020.
In February 2020, the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment requested that Inland Rail provide a response to submissions made to the Environmental Impact Statement. In May 2020, the Department received the response and are currently assessing the planning application.
In July 2020, the planning assessment for the project was fast-tracked under the NSW Government's Planning System Acceleration Program, with a decision to be made by 14 August 2020.
Expressions of Interest for the major works contract (SP1), comprising works within the existing ARTC rail corridor, were called for on 4 October 2019. EOIs closed on 1 November. On 3 December 2019 the ARTC announced a shortlist of three:
- RailFirst, a joint venture between Downer EDI and Seymour Whyte, and
- Trans4m Rail, a joint venture between Rhomberg Rail Australia, BGC Contracting and SEE Civil.
The Request for Tender process is now underway, with contract award expected by June 2020, with construction to commence in the second half of 2020.
The separate structures contract (SP2), for works around Moree, is expected commence procurement in early 2020.
The NSW Government has deemed this section and the Parkes to Narromine section "Critical State Significant Infrastructure" (SSI). The SSI application states the estimated capital investment value of the section is $1.3 billion.
At industry briefings held in October 2019, ARTC indicated the SP1 contract value was 'greater than $400 million', while SP2 was 'greater than $100 million'.
Last reviewed: 31/07/2020