WESTERN Australia’s freight operator Arc Infrastructure has embarked on Stage 2 of a major upgrade of the state’s Midland Line which carries a large proportion of the WA grain harvest to ports at Geraldton and Kwinana held by CBH, WA’s largest grain exporter.

Stage 1 of the project started in 2020. Work on stage 2 will continue throughout 2021 on two sections of the 1067mm-gauge line between Narngulu and Dongara, and Moora and Mooliabeenee.

The project includes the replacement of 38,200 timber sleepers with heavy duty steel sleepers, approximately 28,000 tonnes of new ballast, re-sleepering eight non-bitumen sealed level crossings, and replacement of 8600 steel sleepers.

Stage 2 of the project will cost $A 17m ($US 13.1m) while the total cost of the seven-year upgrade is $A 54m.

The Midland line connects with the northern section of Arc Infrastructure’s network, linking the Eastern Goldfields Railway line to Geraldton.

CBH carries on average 7.6 million tonnes of grain each year on its network. Western Australia produces 14 million tonnes of grain on average.