Junee Shire councillors hosted an information presentation by Australian Rail Track Corporation representatives at Monday night’s council meeting to discuss the progress of the Illabo to Stockingbingal line.
The network is promised to deliver freight goods from Melbourne to Brisbane in a day, while removing five million freight trucks from highways across the eastern states.
“It’s going to be faster, safer and the impact on roads will be a lot less,” said Cameron Simpkins, ARTC Inland Rail project manager.
Original assessments made in 2010 identified two separate routes for the inland rail to follow.
Either through Albury and Junee, or through Shepparton in Victoria and up through Nerranderra.
The Albury route would cost nine hundred million dollars less than the Shepparton route, and would only require the installation of 37 kilometres track to join to existing twin rail lines.
But the route through Junee is not without its issues.
At current estimates, it will affect the property lines of between 10 and 15 landowners.
The compensation of those affected is yet to be decided.
“The further east we go, we’re drifting into the rocks along the Bethungra Range,” said Mr Simpkins.
“The further west it goes we’re impacting hydrology.”
With double-stacked trains running up to 115 kilometres an hour, fencing is also an issue.
ARTC has committed to building the new fences, but as the rail is proposed to last a hundred years, it has not been decided who will foot the bill for ongoing service.
A solution for the Kemp Street Bridge is also yet to be assured.
Trains will extend between 1,800 metres to 3,600 metres and will require a 7.1 metre clearance, for which the bridge cannot accommodate.
“We’re building history, there’s always going to be turbulence,” said Mr Simpkins.
“Either Junee steps up and says ‘we’ll do it’ or Wagga’s going to steal your thunder through Bomen.
“It’s a statement of fact, someone is going to move on it.”