Major local infrastructure upgrades which will underwrite Narrabri Shire’s and the wider region’s future growth continue to be rolled out.

On Monday morning, the acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack came to Narrabri to inspect the site of a $44.7 million upgrade to the Narrabri to Turrawan railway line which will be the local ‘missing link’ in the big picture of the Inland Rail and district industrial and agricultural development.

The upgraded railway will be the conduit which will allow more efficient, cost effective transport and higher volumes of commodities from Narrabri Shire and the region to Newcastle Port.

Mr McCormack and Regional Communications and Local Government Minister Mark Coulton were joined by Narrabri Shire acting mayor Cameron Staines and shire general manager Stewart Todd at Narrabri West to inspect the site of the planned Narrabri to Turrawan upgrade.

The $44.7 million track improvements, to be started ‘as soon as possible’, was about creating jobs and opportunities for farmers, small businesses and the community.

The project, in tandem with the Inland Rail, would connect the highly productive region to the state and the rest of the world.

Acting mayor Cameron Staines welcomed the Narrabri to Turrawan project.

“It’s a monumental upgrade, putting in place the jigsaw pieces, the connectivity, for the development of the Northern NSW Inland Port at Narrabri which will play such a pivotal role in the Narrabri region,” Cr Staines said.

Mr Coulton said the upgrade will improve the capacity and quality of the rail link allowing longer and heavier freight trains carrying food and fibre from

Northern NSW to the Newcastle and Sydney ports.

“The project will replace the existing steel and timber sleepers with heavy-duty concrete ones, delivering vital level crossing upgrades and improving the rail quality on the Narrabri Coal Junction to Turrawan section, as well as the Turrawan to Narrabri North section,” he said.

The project will deliver an improved corridor capable of 25 tonne axle load (TAL) trains travelling at 80 kmh to replace the current ageing 20.5 TAL track.

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