Upgrade work has started on the Rock to Boree Creek grain rail line, south of Wagga Wagga in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.
The project extends from the Emerald loading point at The Rock to Boree Creek.
The A$9m ($6.5m) project forms part of the federal government’s continual upgrade work on grain lines across the state, to ensure prompt and uninterrupted freight movements from the farm to the port through rail.
The rail line transports more than 100,000t of grain during productive crop seasons.
Australian Roads, Maritime and Freight Minister Duncan Gay said: "By upgrading grain lines, we are creating more reliable travel times, cutting costs for freight operators and farmers and are continuing to maximise the value of the NSW grain harvest."
Expected to be completed by the end of the year, the re-sleepering project at The Rock involves the replacement of timber sleepers with modern and long-life sleepers.
Under the project, 30,160 new steel sleepers and fastenings on the main line will be installed, 8,000t of rail ballast will be unloaded and 56km of track resurfaced.
Australian Primary Industries, Lands and Water Minister Niall Blair said: "This state produces 36% of Australia’s wheat, worth A$2.5bn to our economy each year. That’s why we need to make sure that we support getting produce from paddock to port efficiently.
"More than 50km of line is being upgraded – with farmers in areas such as Wagga Wagga, Narrandera, Oaklands and Coleambally set to benefit from more efficient freight movements."
Work to extend the existing grain line by 750m at Ardelthan was recently completed, and GrainCorp and Emerald Grain is set to install new over-rail loading equipment in the coming months.
In September 2012, the NSW government unveiled a plan to invest A$277m ($293m) on upgrade of the state’s 996km of grain rail lines over the next five years.