Moree district residents are being warned to be extra vigilant around level crossings, with increased rail activity as trainloads of steel rail and concrete sleepers make their way to the area to prepare for construction of the Narrabri to North Star section of the Inland Rail.
Deliveries of steel and sleepers to the Moree to North Star section commenced mid-June and will continue into mid-2020 in the lead-up to construction.
The Moree to North Star rail corridor has not seen trains operate consistently for a significant period of time. Commencement of these pre-construction works means trains are using the line once more, with trains running on the track during the day and night.
As the deliveries continue, landholders, motorists and communities around Edgeroi, Bellata, Gurley, Moree, Crooble, Milguy, Croppa Creek and North Star need to be extra vigilant around level crossings. Due to the limited use of this line, many community members may be accustomed to crossing level crossings (or otherwise crossing the rail line) without looking or stopping for trains.
"Road users are urged to take extra care at level crossings along the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail over the coming months with increased train movements for the delivery of construction materials," Inland Rail Narrabri to North Star project director Duncan Mitchell said.
"Commencing 17 June, rail and sleepers are being delivered to sites along the alignment, and the transport of the materials will continue into 2020.
"This is in preparation for the construction phase of work between Narrabri and North Star, which is expected to start next year once all project approvals are in place. This material will be used to re-build existing track, complete level crossings, and build a new section of rail line at Camurra."
Moree mayor Katrina Humphries said the whole project, when completed, would be a "game changer" for the safe and efficient transportation of commodities from the Moree Plains and the wider catchment region to major ports and ease the freight burden on our road network.
"I am just thrilled to hear that construction materials are making their way into our shire in anticipation for commencement of construction once all the necessary approvals are in place," she said.
"As a community, we need to be mindful that the rail line will be in use and ensure we adjust our behaviours accordingly."
The Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail is an upgrade to approximately 188km of track within the existing rail corridor and construction of approximately 1.6km of new rail corridor. The project crosses into three local government areas, including the Moree Plains.