On August 5, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) announced that Austrak had been awarded the $50m contract to produce 500,000 new pre-stressed concrete sleepers for ARTC track upgrades.

The concrete sleepers will be used as part of the concrete resleepering of the line between Broken Hill and Parkes, designed to increase capacity and reduce transit time.

Austrak general manager David Priddle said the works would mean the company could employ additional staff for its Wagga Wagga factory.

“The announcement of the project will mean a boost to employment in Wagga, not only through Austrak’s operations, but also the trickle down employment affect for many of our suppliers,” David said. “This sort of knock-on employment is vital in regional areas.”

ARTC and Austrak already have a strong working partnership with Austrak supplying concrete sleepers for ARTC’s massive $2.4b upgrade of the North South line.
ARTC chief executive officer David Marchant explained that while the production of the concrete sleepers was essential for the Parkes to the Broken Hill freight rail projects, the work would also benefit the Wagga community.

“ARTC is proud to partner with a local company as we hit the ground running with the upgrade of rail infrastructure between Broken Hill and Parkes,” he said. “The new sleepers are an essential element in ARTC’s strategy to increase the capacity and reduce transit time between Broken Hill and Parkes.”