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$11 million Kalgoorlie-Fremantle railway upgrading to proceed

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3 March 1993 O^


Trains up to 1.5 km long carrying 300 containers could be running between Perth and the eastern States under plans announced today by Federal Land Transport Minister, Bob Brown.

Mr Brown's approval of a $11 million for track upgrading between Kalgoorlie and Fremantle to permit operation of superfreighter trains and represents a fundamental improvement in freight services to and from Western Australia. M

It is also a major boost to hopes that Kalgoorlie will become an important inland freight distribution centre for the Eastern Goldfields and much of the North-West.

Starting next year, the Kalgoorlie-Fremantle railway line will be used by National Rail as part of a national rail freight grid linking Perth with Brisbane via Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

'The project involves improved height clearances, extended passing loops and other work to facilitate movement of trains carrying double-stacked containers', Mr Brown said.

'Existing overhead structures do not allow containers to be stacked one on top of the other. The upgrading will remedy this situation and also permit the use of the line by longer trains.

'Associated benefits include improved efficiency and competitiveness of rail for carrying domestic containers and less wear and tear on the Eyre Highway due to a predicted shift in freight traffic from road to rail. 4

'Clearance improvements account for almost $5 million of the total project cost', he said.

Mr Brown said crossing loops, which allow a faster train to overtake a slow-moving one or to cross from one line to another, would be extended to 1800 m at the following locations:

- Grass Valley, Meckering, BungalIa, Doodlakine, Hines Hill, Burracoppin, Boddalin, Lake Julia, Darrine, Jaurdi, Wallaroo, Stewart and Bonnie Valley.

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The following projects are included also:

- general track upgrading between Cockburn and Fremantle and at Leighton and North Fremantle;

- trackwork at the North Fremantle freight transfer facility;

- level crossing improvements at Tydeman Road, North Fremantle;

- overhead equipment modification for clearance over the Fremantle railway bridge;

- pantograph modification for suburban electric passenger trains operating the Fremantle service; and

- signal improvements, Cockburn to North Fremantle.

Mr Brown said that all work was expected to be completed in a year. It will generate 270, direct and indirect, jobs.

Contact Minister's Office: Margaret Robson (06) 277 7440