4 March 2024

Major road bridge over Inland Rail line opened at Glenrowan

| Andrew McLaughlin
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new bridge

The new Beaconsfield Parade Bridge over the Inland Rail freight line at Glenrowan. Photos: ARTC.

A major piece of infrastructure for the Commonwealth’s ambitious Inland Rail network has been opened at Glenrowan in northern Victoria.

The new 145-metre-long Beaconsfield Parade Bridge replaces an older 60-metre bridge and will carry traffic over the Inland Rail line and allow double-stacked freight trains to pass underneath.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) Inland Rail also designed the bridge to incorporate a network of pathways to better connect Glenrowan’s heritage sites, improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, and enhance landscaping and finishes to respect the precinct’s heritage.

The bridge was opened by the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Catherine King.

“Inland Rail will better connect regional businesses, manufacturers and producers to national and global markets,” she said.

“It will enhance our national freight and supply chain capabilities, connecting existing freight routes through rail, roads and ports. Freight will be delivered faster and more reliably, with fewer carbon emissions.”

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In an interview with ABC Goulburn Murray Radio, Minister King said the bridge was one of four major projects being undertaken in the region, including at Barnawartha, North Wangaratta and Seymour Avenue Road.

“These are big works,” she said. “And the thing that is really good about the work that we’re doing with Inland Rail is that the vast majority of workers are coming from the local community or from the state of Victoria, and it’s providing great opportunities for jobs and people on what is a really significant project that’s going to change the way freight moves around this country.”

Minister for Finance and Minister for Women Katy Gallagher added: “The Glenrowan community and the thousands of visitors that flock to the historic township every year will benefit from the better-connected and safer heritage precinct.

“To support Inland Rail, the government is investing in new bridges, improved access to railway stations, new railway platforms and additional station carparks.”

Work is being undertaken at 12 sites in Victoria to lower tracks and raise bridges to enable double-stacked freight trains to pass. The first stage, from Beveridge just north of Melbourne to Parkes in the NSW midwest, is scheduled to be completed in 2027, after which further stages are planned to take the line as far as Brisbane.

people walking over newly opened bridge

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Catherine King (centre, front) joins a community walk over the new bridge at Glenrowan.

Inland Rail CEO Nick Miller said the bridge would create better accessibility to the historic sites in Glenrowan and improve safety for the community.

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“It has been great to see the community’s support today,” Mr Miller said. “We’ve had a great relationship with the Glenrowan community and worked closely with local stakeholders to make sure we’re integrating this new infrastructure with the town.

“We’ve been listening to what’s important to the local community and modified our designs to accommodate those needs wherever possible.

“I would like to thank everyone at Inland Rail, ARTC and our construction partner McConnell Dowell, who have worked tirelessly to see this latest milestone become a reality.”

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