Following a year of preliminary design discussions, the Inland Rail project has been opened for community consultation.
Junee kicked off the community meetings on the morning of Thursday September 13.
A group of 20 residents attended the forum at the Lorne Street newsagency to have their voices heard.
Spokesperson for the Australian Rail Track Corporation and statewide stakeholder relations manager Helena Orel described the occasion as “overwhelmingly positive”.
The 185 kilometre stretch of rail will extend from Albury to Illabo, that will accommodate the passage of double stacked container trains from Melbourne through to Brisbane.
The project will involve either the removal or repair of 12 key structures across the Riverina.
The decommissioned footbridge at Junee’s railway station is one of the structures that will be removed.
“The footbridge does not meet safety stands and has not been in use for many years,” said Ms Orel.
Solutions for the Kemp Street road bridge and Olympic Highway are still within the parametres of discussion.
“Feedback from the community is important to find good options for the bridges,” said Ms Orel.
“Especially the Kemp Street bridge is a bit low to allow the double stack trains through.”
Following the consultation process, construction is due to begin in two years’ time before a completion date is set in 2025.
“With any big infrastructure project, particularly if it involves road, rail, and pedestrian areas, there will be impact to the community,” said Ms Orel.
“The consultation is intended to help us minimise that impact.”
One of the aspects up for discussion is whether construction works will be best completed during the night or day.
Residents will also be able to provide feedback on the plans at the Henty Machinery Field Days on September 18 to 20, before Albury hosts its consultation on Monday September 24, and Wagga the following day.