ACACPB Joint Venture (JV) has been selected by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) to deliver the Inland Rail’s southern civil works programme valued at around $869m (A$1.2bn).

ACACPB JV, a 50-50 JV between CPB Contractors and Acciona Construction Australia, will be responsible for the planning and development of civil works between Narrabri and Narromine in New South Wales.

The scope of works will include nearly 306km of new track formation, including earthworks, drainage, bridge/viaduct structures and related logistical management.

According to an ARTC statement, the alignment will feature 58 new bridges and 14 news viaducts ranging from 15m to 3,940m.

ARTC Inland Rail interim chief executive Rebecca Pickering said: “Inland Rail, from construction through to its delivery, is a nation building project. It is the catalyst for thousands of regional jobs and will ultimately change the way freight is moved around the country.

“We will need a large local workforce to support this part of the project with an estimated 7,500 workers needed in New South Wales at the peak of construction in 2023-24.

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“ACACPB JV will initially be working with ARTC to review reference design and develop construction plans and methodologies ahead of the development of a fully costed proposal for the first of the works packages next year.”

To support the project delivery, ACACPB JV will now look for partnerships with businesses and skilled operators.

Pickering added: “Major construction will not start until statutory approvals have been received from the New South Wales and Australian governments, but the appointment of a preferred proponent now tells local businesses to get ‘Inland Rail ready’ and start talking with ACACPB JV about what the future looks like.”

Inland Rail is a 1,700km-long freight rail infrastructure project that will connect Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

The project will facilitate freight movement and will generate new opportunities for local businesses.

Last month, ARTC awarded two major contracts for the $294.27m (A$400m) Port Botany Rail Line Duplication and Cabramatta Loop projects.