Australian Rail Track (ARTC) has selected Jacobs Engineering Group in a joint venture (JV) with GHD to conduct a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment for a 300km new greenfield track of the Inland Rail programme in New South Wales (NSW).

Under the contract, Jacobs Engineering Group will provide further engineering design and conduct environmental studies to determine the preferred route for the proposed 40m to 60m wide rail corridor.

ARTC Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller said: “This important feasibility design work will give us critical information in terms of engineering, environmental, traffic flows, socio-economic impacts and benefits and other areas of interest.

“It will lay the groundwork for the detailed design for this section and help identify how we can adjust to address community concerns.”

The new 300km long track forms part of Inland Rail’s Narromine to Narrabri (N2N) project, which is one of the 13 projects of the Inland Rail programme.

“Inland Rail will connect farms, mines, cities and ports to global markets, providing significant supply chain benefits.”

The track will be the longest track of Inland Rail and is expected to feature seven passing loops, four road-over-rail graded separations and three rail-over-rail graded separations.

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It will also be equipped with 17 rail underbridges, 4km of viaduct, several level crossings and more than 320 utility crossings.

Jacobs Buildings, Infrastructure and Advanced Facilities senior vice-president and general manager Patrick Hill said: “Inland Rail will connect farms, mines, cities and ports to global markets, providing significant supply chain benefits.

“In addition, it will reduce transit times and complete one of the missing freight rail links between Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane, and we will leverage our extensive background in rail and transportation to help make it happen.”

In July, Jacobs Engineering Group secured a deal from Etihad Rail to provide critical technical and programme consulting services for UAE’s new freight and passenger railway network.