The federal government corporation behind the Inland Rail project says it is committed to community engagement as it prepares to lay 37 kilometres of new track in the Cootamundra region.
Australian Rail Track Corporation stakeholder engagement manager Helena Orel said about 90 people attended drop-in sessions last week at Stockinbingal’s Elwoods Hall and Cootamundra’s Uniting Church Hall.
“As well as our stakeholder engagement team members we had engineers, project designers, environmental specialists and project leaders at the sessions,” she said.
“In Stockinbingal and Cootamundra there was special interest in the options being considered for the design of the road level crossing and rail intersection at Stockinbingal where the new Inland Rail line will join the existing ARTC line to Parkes.”
“People were interested in the work being done to narrow the corridor down from its original two kilometre width to the eventual 60 metres wide, but also had questions about train size, noise and level crossings.”
“Consultation is key for us and drop in sessions like these as well as other meetings with all stakeholders will continue.”
An ARTC statement said the Illabo to Stockinbingal leg of Inland Rail would involve building around 37 kilometres of new line between the two centres.
The new line will prevent the longer and taller trains having to use Bethungra Spiral, which has limits on the size of the trains which can use it.
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council general manager Allen Dwyer said the council had also had a briefing with ARTC.
“They’re keen to work with the landholders and I’m sure they’ll deal with the concerns,” he said.
“Naturally, landholders are concerned where railways divide their properties but I'm sure they will be accommodated.”
Mr Dwyer said Inland Rail could benefit the region, both during construction and when finished.