The branch line from the junction at Moree to North Star carries only seasonal grain traffic and over the last two years has seen very little use at all due to the poor condition of the infrastructure and the crippling drought affecting the region.

Deliveries to work sites on the North Star line - rail from Whyalla, South Australia and concrete sleepers from Mittagong, New South Wales - have been under way for several months.

The Inland Rail project will offer a transit time of 24 hours or less for freight trains between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  

“The initial Parkes to Narromine section of Inland Rail is now 10 months into full construction and the economic flow on benefits from construction can already been clearly seen in Parkes and surrounding regions,” says ARTC Inland Rail chief executive, Mr Richard Wankmuller.

“These are the sorts of opportunities and economic development that will come from the Narrabri - North Star project, which will include upgrading around 171km of existing rail track through the reconstruction of existing track, replacement of bridges and culverts, level crossings and crossing loops.”