Rocla will produce 200,000 concrete sleepers at its Braemar plant in Mittagong, NSW for the first stage on Inland Rail, after winning the $20 million supply contract.
Twenty new jobs in the Southern Highlands have been created to produce the sleepers, which will be used for the Parkes to Narromine section of the project and are the first of the 1.5 million required to build the full 1700-kilometre track from Brisbane to Melbourne.
Rail company Pacific National also made the first delivery of sleepers to Peak Hill near Parkes last month in preparation for construction.
Over the next six months, Pacific National will run a train once a week from Mittagong to Peak Hill carrying around 9,000 concrete sleepers each trip.
Inland Rail Programme Delivery Director Simon Thomas said the concrete sleeper contract was another example of Australian businesses benefiting from Inland Rail.
“Inland Rail is already securing jobs in regional Australia and our cities. The benefits of Inland Rail will be seen far beyond the Inland Rail route, and these 20 extra jobs in the Southern Highlands are just the beginning,” Mr. Thomas said.
“Inland Rail is a truly national project. The track between Parkes and Narromine will have Whyalla steel rail, Mittagong concrete sleepers and other material contracts from all over Australia will be announced shortly.”
Pacific National President of Freight Andrew Adam said Inland Rail will be a ‘game changer’ for regional producers, businesses and exporters wanting to transport their goods and commodities safer, faster and cheaper to the major ports of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
“Pacific National is proud to be part of the construction of Inland Rail, providing a service where each freight train will haul around 2,500 tonnes of concrete sleepers 400 kilometres from Mittagong to Parkes,” Mr. Adam said.
“When it comes to hauling bulk freight, rail is the safest, most efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of transport – to move 200,000 concrete sleepers by road would take a thousand B-double trucks.”