Narrabri to North Star (NSW)

The Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section is one of 13 projects that completes Inland Rail and is an upgrade to approximately 188km of track within the existing rail corridor and construction of approximately 1.6km of a new rail corridor.

The works are required to accommodate the operation of 1,800m-long double-stacked freight trains. This project crosses the three Local Government Areas of Gwydir, Narrabri and Moree Plains.

The alignment

This project utilises existing rail corridor and track between Narrabri and North Star and involves:

  • reconstruction of the existing track
  • constructing a new section of rail line at Camurra to bypass the existing hairpin curve
  • re-establishing and/or expanding drainage works next to the track
  • level crossing works
  • replacing existing culverts and replacing bridges at the Mehi River, Gwydir River and Croppa Creek
  • establishing five crossing loops
  • making minor changes to track alignments at Bellata, Gurley and Moree stations
  • providing a new road bridge over the existing rail corridor over the Newell Highway near Bellata.

Progress

Since commencing the project, we have been:

  • working with Councils to better understand local issues such as flooding and traffic movements
  • meeting and working with landowners and stakeholders along the alignment including local farmers, potential suppliers and industry
  • hosting project information sessions for the local community and stakeholders
  • completing field studies such as ecology, hydrology and geotechnical studies
  • working with cultural knowledge holders to identify and manage places of cultural significance.

The N2NS project is progressing through the following environmental approvals:

While the formal period for EIS submissions has now closed you may still view the EIS online.

Next steps

A total of 18 submissions were received during the EIS exhibition period: 10 from individuals, businesses and community organisations, and 8 from government agencies and councils. The Inland Rail team is preparing a Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report (SPIR) that addresses the issues raised and outlines changes made to the project in response. Once completed, we will place a link to the SPIR on this web page.

The SPIR will help to inform the NSW Minister for Planning and Environment in assessing the project. The upgrade of the current railway line will be carried out and operated in accordance with the measures described in the EIS, the SPIR and any conditions of approval imposed by the Minister.

If the project is approved by the NSW Minister for Planning and Environment, it will be referred to the Australian Minister for the Environment for consideration. The Minister may impose additional conditions to meet the provisions under the EPBC Act.

The Inland Rail Team has also proposed to separate the project into two phases, to enable the more complex hydrology of the 15km floodplain between the Mehi and Gwydir Rivers, north of Moree, to be properly investigated, while the remaining 174km main upgrade progresses on schedule (Phase 1).

Completion of the detailed design of the Phase 1 main upgrade is expected by the second quarter of 2019, with tenders being called for a construction contract at the same time.

The 15km floodplain section of Phase 2 will go through the EIS process and further technical assessments and public consultation.

Construction of road-over-rail bridges at the Newell Highway, north of Bellata, are being brought forward and will be awarded as a standalone construction contract. These works will commence construction under the planning approval for Phase 1, once received.

For more information on the EPBC Act, visit the Department's website.

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.

In due course you will have the opportunity to meet with members of the project team in person at one of our information sessions. Keep an eye out in your local newspaper, or register with us now to keep up to date.

Contact us

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

The Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section is one of 13 projects that completes Inland Rail and is an upgrade to approximately 188km of track within the existing rail corridor and construction of approximately 1.6km of a new rail corridor.

The works are required to accommodate the operation of 1,800m-long double-stacked freight trains. This project crosses the three Local Government Areas of Gwydir, Narrabri and Moree Plains.

The alignment

This project utilises existing rail corridor and track between Narrabri and North Star and involves:

  • reconstruction of the existing track
  • constructing a new section of rail line at Camurra to bypass the existing hairpin curve
  • re-establishing and/or expanding drainage works next to the track
  • level crossing works
  • replacing existing culverts and replacing bridges at the Mehi River, Gwydir River and Croppa Creek
  • establishing five crossing loops
  • making minor changes to track alignments at Bellata, Gurley and Moree stations
  • providing a new road bridge over the existing rail corridor over the Newell Highway near Bellata.

Progress

Since commencing the project, we have been:

  • working with Councils to better understand local issues such as flooding and traffic movements
  • meeting and working with landowners and stakeholders along the alignment including local farmers, potential suppliers and industry
  • hosting project information sessions for the local community and stakeholders
  • completing field studies such as ecology, hydrology and geotechnical studies
  • working with cultural knowledge holders to identify and manage places of cultural significance.

The N2NS project is progressing through the following environmental approvals:

While the formal period for EIS submissions has now closed you may still view the EIS online.

Next steps

A total of 18 submissions were received during the EIS exhibition period: 10 from individuals, businesses and community organisations, and 8 from government agencies and councils. The Inland Rail team is preparing a Submissions and Preferred Infrastructure Report (SPIR) that addresses the issues raised and outlines changes made to the project in response. Once completed, we will place a link to the SPIR on this web page.

The SPIR will help to inform the NSW Minister for Planning and Environment in assessing the project. The upgrade of the current railway line will be carried out and operated in accordance with the measures described in the EIS, the SPIR and any conditions of approval imposed by the Minister.

If the project is approved by the NSW Minister for Planning and Environment, it will be referred to the Australian Minister for the Environment for consideration. The Minister may impose additional conditions to meet the provisions under the EPBC Act.

The Inland Rail Team has also proposed to separate the project into two phases, to enable the more complex hydrology of the 15km floodplain between the Mehi and Gwydir Rivers, north of Moree, to be properly investigated, while the remaining 174km main upgrade progresses on schedule (Phase 1).

Completion of the detailed design of the Phase 1 main upgrade is expected by the second quarter of 2019, with tenders being called for a construction contract at the same time.

The 15km floodplain section of Phase 2 will go through the EIS process and further technical assessments and public consultation.

Construction of road-over-rail bridges at the Newell Highway, north of Bellata, are being brought forward and will be awarded as a standalone construction contract. These works will commence construction under the planning approval for Phase 1, once received.

For more information on the EPBC Act, visit the Department's website.

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.

In due course you will have the opportunity to meet with members of the project team in person at one of our information sessions. Keep an eye out in your local newspaper, or register with us now to keep up to date.

Contact us

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