Illabo to Stockinbingal (NSW)

Illabo to Stockinbingal (I2S) is one of 13 projects that complete Inland Rail and will comprise 37km of new rail track that will help complete the backbone of the national rail freight network.

The alignment

This section of Inland Rail will provide a new direct route from east of Illabo tracking north to Stockinbingal.

The route bypasses the winding section of track called the Bethungra Spiral on the Main South Line, creating a more efficient way to transport freight train loads and reduce track congestion.

Progress

The I2S project is currently in the Feasibility Stage. We have undertaken a number of field studies and carried out a Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) process to narrow down the study area from 2km to approximately 200–400m wide, to identify possible options for the final rail corridor.

The MCA process is recognised as an industry standard and is widely used in Australia and internationally. A range of factors are considered in an MCA, including technical viability, environmental impacts, safety, community and property impacts, operational approach, approvals, stakeholder engagement, constructability and schedule.

Environment planning and approvals

In June 2018 we lodged a State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) application and a Scoping Report with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) for the I2S project. In August 2018, the I2S project was determined to be controlled action and requires assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Scoping Report is a high-level, preliminary assessment used to guide the project’s environmental assessment requirements (SEARs), which was issued to ARTC by DP&E in September 2018. Both documents can be found on the DP&E website.

Currently we are gathering further information to feed into the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS document will outline potential impacts of the project for consideration by DP&E. It will also capture information gathered from consultation with landowners and other stakeholders such as councils, industry and wider community and how this was considered in the narrowing of the study area to a final rail corridor.

Once complete, the EIS is then put on public exhibition for a minimum of 30 days – we expect this to occur in early 2020. Community members and other stakeholders will be invited to provide their feedback and make formal submissions which will be considered by DP&E when assessing the project. The Minister for Planning will then make a decision on whether to approve the project. The project has to be approved in order for construction on I2S to begin.

Next steps

As part of the EIS process, we will continue to undertake a series of investigations and field studies to gain an in-depth understanding of local ground conditions, hydrology and flooding issues and to identify local flora and fauna habitats.

What you might see in your area

  • ecological surveys – to identify habitats and/or species that exist within the area of investigation
  • utility identification surveys – to identify infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines
  • heritage surveys – investigations for any evidence of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artefacts/heritage
  • noise, air quality and vibration surveys – to measure background noise, air quality and vibration levels at key sites
  • hydrology studies – to obtain information about flooding and surface water movements.

The investigations will help us determine where in the study area the final 40–60m wide rail corridor will go.

To learn more about the full range of our studies, please refer to our Environmental Field Studies factsheet.

Community consultation

Community consultation is vital to the success of Inland Rail and we welcome your participation. We are committed to working with communities and stakeholders to get your feedback which will help us with further planning.

Along with landowner and key stakeholder consultation, we held community drop-in sessions at Bethungra, Illabo, Stockinbingal, Temora and Cootamundra in October 2018.

Community consultation for I2S is continuing in 2019, with information sessions planned for 1, 2 and 3 August 2019. Sessions will be promoted via the Inland Rail website, regional newspapers, local radio stations and the Inland Rail newsletter. To make sure you are up-to-date, subscribe to our newsletter.

I2S Community Consultative Committee

ARTC has established a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) for the I2S project. The first CCC meeting was held in February 2019, with the next being held in Cootamundra on 8 August 2019 Community consultative committees are a forum where Inland Rail information can be shared between the project team and the community, topics of interest discussed, and issues and concerns addressed. The committees ensure that engagement occurs at all stages of a project and allows community representatives to share their knowledge and experiences on key issues.

For meeting minutes, committee members and upcoming meeting details, please see the link below: https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/I2S-ccc

Contact us

You can have your questions answered about the project by contacting us directly, or asking us a question.

Illabo to Stockinbingal (I2S) is one of 13 projects that complete Inland Rail and will comprise 37km of new rail track that will help complete the backbone of the national rail freight network.

The alignment

This section of Inland Rail will provide a new direct route from east of Illabo tracking north to Stockinbingal.

The route bypasses the winding section of track called the Bethungra Spiral on the Main South Line, creating a more efficient way to transport freight train loads and reduce track congestion.

Progress

The I2S project is currently in the Feasibility Stage. We have undertaken a number of field studies and carried out a Multi Criteria Analysis (MCA) process to narrow down the study area from 2km to approximately 200–400m wide, to identify possible options for the final rail corridor.

The MCA process is recognised as an industry standard and is widely used in Australia and internationally. A range of factors are considered in an MCA, including technical viability, environmental impacts, safety, community and property impacts, operational approach, approvals, stakeholder engagement, constructability and schedule.

Environment planning and approvals

In June 2018 we lodged a State Significant Infrastructure (SSI) application and a Scoping Report with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) for the I2S project. In August 2018, the I2S project was determined to be controlled action and requires assessment and approval under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The Scoping Report is a high-level, preliminary assessment used to guide the project’s environmental assessment requirements (SEARs), which was issued to ARTC by DP&E in September 2018. Both documents can be found on the DP&E website.

Currently we are gathering further information to feed into the upcoming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS document will outline potential impacts of the project for consideration by DP&E. It will also capture information gathered from consultation with landowners and other stakeholders such as councils, industry and wider community and how this was considered in the narrowing of the study area to a final rail corridor.

Once complete, the EIS is then put on public exhibition for a minimum of 30 days – we expect this to occur in early 2020. Community members and other stakeholders will be invited to provide their feedback and make formal submissions which will be considered by DP&E when assessing the project. The Minister for Planning will then make a decision on whether to approve the project. The project has to be approved in order for construction on I2S to begin.

Next steps

As part of the EIS process, we will continue to undertake a series of investigations and field studies to gain an in-depth understanding of local ground conditions, hydrology and flooding issues and to identify local flora and fauna habitats.

What you might see in your area

  • ecological surveys – to identify habitats and/or species that exist within the area of investigation
  • utility identification surveys – to identify infrastructure such as gas and water pipelines
  • heritage surveys – investigations for any evidence of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artefacts/heritage
  • noise, air quality and vibration surveys – to measure background noise, air quality and vibration levels at key sites
  • hydrology studies – to obtain information about flooding and surface water movements.

The investigations will help us determine where in the study area the final 40–60m wide rail corridor will go.

To learn more about the full range of our studies, please refer to our Environmental Field Studies factsheet.

Community consultation

Community consultation is vital to the success of Inland Rail and we welcome your participation. We are committed to working with communities and stakeholders to get your feedback which will help us with further planning.

Along with landowner and key stakeholder consultation, we held community drop-in sessions at Bethungra, Illabo, Stockinbingal, Temora and Cootamundra in October 2018.

Community consultation for I2S is continuing in 2019, with information sessions planned for 1, 2 and 3 August 2019. Sessions will be promoted via the Inland Rail website, regional newspapers, local radio stations and the Inland Rail newsletter. To make sure you are up-to-date, subscribe to our newsletter.

I2S Community Consultative Committee

ARTC has established a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) for the I2S project. The first CCC meeting was held in February 2019, with the next being held in Cootamundra on 8 August 2019 Community consultative committees are a forum where Inland Rail information can be shared between the project team and the community, topics of interest discussed, and issues and concerns addressed. The committees ensure that engagement occurs at all stages of a project and allows community representatives to share their knowledge and experiences on key issues.

For meeting minutes, committee members and upcoming meeting details, please see the link below: https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/I2S-ccc

Contact us

You can have your questions answered about the project by contacting us directly, or asking us a question.