(Source: Press Release The Hon Michael McCormack, Deputy PM and Minister for Infrasatructure, Transport and Regional Development - 30/08/2019)
Freight trains travelling from the east and west will next month be running on the transformational Inland Rail North-West Connection following the completion of construction on the first section of the new track.
The North-West Connection will link Inland Rail to the interstate east-west line from Sydney to Perth providing a vital connection for the freight industry.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton were onsite in Parkes, New South Wales, today to inspect the Inland Rail North-West Connection that will streamline freight movements across Australia.
"The North-West Connection is so important for our freight industry and we will see markedly improved travel times and enhanced capacity for multiple train movements up, down and along the intersecting network, which means, when Inland Rail is fully operational, more productive supply chains carrying our food, furnishings and resources across Australia," Mr McCormack said.
"Inland Rail is already expanding the national freight network and the opening of this section will also create a much-needed link that improves access between the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail Interstate railway line.
"Inland Rail is one of the centrepieces of the Liberal and Nationals Government's $100 billion infrastructure pipeline. This once-in-a-generation project will transform the way freight is moved around this great country.
"While Inland Rail is a multi-year project, the build schedule allows for individual components to be released into the national network, providing incremental benefit as sections are completed which means regional producers will have earlier access to the national capability of Inland Rail.
"The Government is committed to infrastructure and delivering results."
The North-West Connection joins the existing Broken Hill Line to the existing rail track south of Henry Parkes Way with 5.3km of greenfield rail track, significantly increasing the efficiency of trains heading across Australia.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Inland Rail would help build a more resilient economy by supporting regional businesses to pursue more opportunities to grow.
"Our commitment of up to $9.3 billion to Inland Rail is not just about changing the way freight moves along the eastern seaboard, it is about ensuring that we have efficient connections from regional Australia to domestic and international markets," Mr Cormann said.
"Inland Rail will help cater for the growing demand for domestic inter-capital freight and it will provide regional businesses and farmers with new opportunities to grow their exports by helping them get their produce to market when and where it is required.
"The benefits of Inland Rail are clear. The project will support 16,000 jobs during construction and will provide a $16 billion boost to our national economy over the long-term, helping to build resilience in our economy going forward."
Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government Mark Coulton said large-scale projects such as Inland Rail were increadibly important to regional Australia.
"One of the reasons I stepped off a tractor 12 years ago and went to Canberra was because of my belief in Inland Rail, and today's milestone has turned that belief into a reality," Mr Coulton said.
"Inland Rail is making a real contribution to communities like Parkes, by creating jobs for locals, injecting investment into the local economy and taking trucks off local roads.
"More than 70 central west businesses are supplying products or services and more than 280 local people are working on the project across a range of jobs, including engineers, tradespeople, labouring and administration staff.
"In total, around 700 people have worked on the Parkes to Narromine section alone, and these figures will keep growing as this transformational project moves into each stage of construction."
For more information on Inland Rail visit www.InlandRail.gov.au
We started out to build a calendar of events for Parkes and the surrounding areas, and then came across the beautiful calendar put out by Parkes Tourism, itself.
Look no further ... and here it is ..(hope they don't mind up publishing it!
UNEARTH CENTRAL NSW
Discover the Central NSW region packed with iconic tourist attractions, gastronomic delights, magnificent landscapes and a rich cultural heritage, all within an hour's drive from the Parkes region.
Explore the Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, sample exquisite food and wine in the Orange and Cabonne region, enjoy Cowra's Japanese Gardens and soar high in a hot air balloon in Canowindra. There is much to explore, but be sure to plan time totake in the many hidden secrets along your way.
Tourist Drives & Trails
Must See + 100 miles
For further information, visit www.visitcentralnswcom.au
If you are looking to capture a classic photo of a quintessential Aussie town, look no further than Trundle
Picture yourself here standing on one of the country's widest main streets, next to the Trundle Hotel with the largest wooden verandah in NSW!
No problems with angle parking in Trundle - Forbes Street is one of the nation's widest main streets, measuring 60m across!
Situated 55km north west of Parkes, Trundle is a rural community, with production consisting mainly of wheat, sheep and cattle.
Enjoy a welcoming cold drink and a hearty meal at the historic Trundle Hotel or the Services Club, both with great accommodation options..
An historic landmark in Trundle, the National Estate listed pub, boasts having the longest verandah in NSW (87.6 metres) on the widest main street in the country, (60m). There has been a hotel continuously on the site since 1888
WHAT'S ON OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS IN PARKES & NEARBY?
Coming Up Between Now and next Easter - not everything included, but these are the main events
1st Saturday - Trundle Bush Tucker Day
Taking place in Trundle the first Saturday in September, the event dishes up a day of fun for participants and spectators, featuring bush cooking competitions, free bush tucker tasting and a wholesale program of bush entertainment.
3rd Sunday - Parkes Open Golf Tournament
Long Weekend - 2PK Parkes Country Music Festival
Long Weekend - Parkes Antique Motor Club Motorcycle Rally
3rd Weekend - Parkes Car Enthusiasts Weekend & Swap Meet
variable - Parkes open gardens
1st Friday - Parkes Christmas Carnival and Markets
1st Friday Peak Hill Meet You Up the Street
variable - Carols by Candlelight
2nd Week - Parkes Elvis Festival
Dust off your blue suede shoes and swivel your hips to Parkes during the second week of January each year for the Parkes Elvis festival celebrating the king of rock and roll. With more than 120 events over 5 days this is a must for your Bucket List
4th Sunday - Parkes Harness Racing
variable - Parkes Gold Cup
Tullamore Irish Music Festival
try your luck at the annual Tullamore Irish Music Festival and be treated to a feast of Irish music, dancing and novelty events every Easter Weekend
THE ELVIS PARKES FESTIVAL
25 years old in 2017, the festival just gets bigger and better! The Parkes Elvis festival has cemented its place as a premier event on the national calendar.
But the question that everyone asks is why is the Elvis festival in Parkes, in the first place?
In 1981 local Elvis fans, Bob and Ann Steel opened a reception centre and restaurant in Parkes which they named Gracelands.
The festival concept was first flagged at a 1992 Elvis party and this proved the massive appeal of the King across generations and it was over a glass of wine at a party that the idea of the Elvis festival first gained traction.
Passionate locals from across the community joined forces to put on the first Festival in 1993 which included an Elvis movie screening, a tribute concert by Eddie Youngblood, an Elvis lookalike and soundalike competition, street parade, Markets, and a tour of the Parkes region, and was attended by about 200 people!
Over the first ten years of the festival, more events were added and it continued to attract fans.
With continuing vision and the help and support of Parkes Council, in 2003/ 04 the Festival finally took off, and word quickly spread across Australia about this fun and quirky event in a country town in central NSW.
The event has gone from success to success with the incredible support of the Council and the people of Parkes, and now attracts over 20,000 people every year in January
Check it out at: www.parkesfestival.com.au
Not just the dish .. that stares out into the wide universe.
I recently spent great week in a tiny, little place called Baldry, 48 km outside Parkes. No phone, no internet, unless you stood on top of the dunny and hung the phone almost out the window! I kid you not - 2019 and Telstra or anybody else can't or won't service some of our vital industries. User pay all the way. The govt (all of them) should give themselves an upper cut..
But I digress ( as usual).
Went into Parkes and had a good look round. That city will really hit it's straps in about 3 years.
The success story is that Parkes is becoming the main hub for Australia's freight movement.
It is the crossroads of the Sydney to Perth rail line and the new Inland Rail line that is going inland and will be the main line from Brisbane to Melbourne. At the moment, the longest freight trains are single stacked 1,500 m trains. In 8 to 10 years this line will be carrying 3,600 m trains double stacked from Brisbane to Melbourne in under 24 hrs and Sydney to Perth on under 48 hrs.
This is huge, particularly when you realise that the current coastal rail line will stop carrying cargo and will only carry passengers and that most of the large B Double truck traffic will disappear from the highways.
This is one of the most exciting infrastructure projects of this century. Even more so when you see the sheer size of the rail container yards that are being built there and already Linfox, SCT. Pacific National Rail and others yet to be announced are spending millions on freight terminals. They reckon 2,000 + families will relocate there. Bloody exciting, I reckon.
Now if we could just turn our minds to capturing all of that rain that falls into the ocean, we would be on the right track.
But the best bit of the whole trip was when our wonderful host, Hodgie took us for a Chinese meal at the Cumnock Sports Club. Great night, meeting some wonderful people and a great meal. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie .... you get my drift.