Three construction firms have been shortlisted to deliver the multi-million-dollar works contract on the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of the Inland Rail.
Landlease Engineering Pty Ltd, RailFirst (a joint venture between Downer EDI and Seymour White) and Trans4m Rail (a joint venture between Rhomberg Rail Australia, BGC Contracting and SEE Civil) have been shortlisted, following a rigorous expression of interest process, which drew an extremely high standard of responses from local and interstate construction firms.
The scope of works for this section of N2NS will upgrade approximately 171km of existing track between Narrabri and North Star including the construction of multiple bridges.
This project is integral to the overall rolling out of the once-in-a-generation Inland Rail which will redefine the freight task across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Inland Rail chief executive officer Richard Wankmuller said the project's next works package will be awarded to the very best available team and Australian Rail Track Corporation is now entering a formal Request for Tender phase to determine who will be chosen.
"The successful contractor for this portion of the work will be required to deliver initiatives and meet targets related to industry participation, employment and workforce development with the Inland Rail team working closely with them to achieve these targets," he said.
Mr Wankmuller said that as the overall program proceeds, Inland Rail's goal is to create meaningful change in communities along the alignment by creating a pathway to support longer term employment outcomes. Inland Rail will result in many benefits for regional centres such as Narrabri, Moree and Goondiwindi as well as smaller centres.
"I know there is excitement building in the N2NS section as we move towards construction next year and local companies are looking to be ready to hit the ground running once the successful tenderer is announced," Mr Wankmuller said.
"In order to help local companies get ready, three regional supplier briefings have been held this week for local businesses. These briefings are intended to help get as many people as possible involved with the project.
"From the outset Inland Rail has had a focus on creating opportunities for regional workforces and we are also engaging with businesses right across Australia to fill the contracts for the project's build.
"We see Inland Rail as a way to create meaningful change in communities along the alignment by developing a pathway to support longer term employment outcomes."
Companies can register for the N2NS project-related subcontract or supply opportunity via ICN Gateway at gateway.icn.org.au.