INLAND Rail, the company overseeing construction of the 1600km freight line between Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, has awarded John Holland a $A 470m ($US 313m) contract covering the eight remaining project worksites in the state of Victoria.

Work includes replacing overbridges and lowering track to accommodate double-stack container trains. The worksites on the Beveridge - Albury section of Inland Rail are located at Benalla, Euroa, Wandong, Hume Freeway-Tallarook and Seymour, with the remaining three in Broadford.

John Holland will also undertake major station upgrades at Euroa and Benalla, including new platforms, pedestrian underpasses, accessibility improvements and additional parking.

Construction is due to start in early 2025 and is scheduled for completion in 2027.

By cutting the transit time for freight between Melbourne in Victoria and Brisbane in Queensland from 33 hours to under 24 hours, Inland Rail is expected to make rail more competitive with road transport and encourage modal shift.

According to Inland Rail CEO, Mr Nick Miller, this latest contract award marks a major step forward for the project in Victoria where contractors have now been appointed for all 12 worksites.

“Tranche 1 sites at Glenrowan, Wangaratta, Seymour are progressing well and Barnawartha North is completed,” he says.

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