Darwin to Alice… By Rail

Robert Taylor, Barclay Mowlem

The Alice Springs to Darwin rail link project has been 100 years in gestation and only became reality as a result of co-operation between Federal and State Governments and the investment of private enterprise. Tendering started in 1997 with preferred construction and management team the Asia Pacific Transport Corporation nominated out of short list of 4 consortiums. Financial agreements were signed off on April 26 2001, after which construction moved forward at frenetic pace. Major construction will be completed in October this year and the track will be ready to carry rail traffic by early 2004. The talk outlined the history of the stages of construction and milestones that have been passed from the start of construction through to near completion. The talk featured the challenges presented to this sort of construction specific to the unusual location of the tropical Northern Territory and focused on the people, plant and materials required to build the northern half of the track.

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