The first sod for the Inland Rail project was historically turned at Parkes terminal on 13 December 2018.

The NSW Government has welcomed the start of work on the 1,700 kilometre Inland Rail project, with first trains expected to run 2025. The track will start from Brisbane, travel throughout regional NSW and end in Melbourne in under 24 hours. 

Businesses and communities in regional NSW are set to benefit from greater access to domestic and international markets and better connections across the state and Australia’s east coast.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said today marks an exciting and pivotal moment in the project’s development.

“Inland Rail will facilitate trains of nearly 2kms in length, taking more freight from long haul trucks and putting it on to rail.  

“The NSW Government is investing in the arterial roads, rail and business precincts that link into the Inland Rail to drive commerce across this great spine and grow our regions,” Mr Barilaro said. 

More than $800 million is being injected into local infrastructure to deliver more investment opportunities, nearly 16,000 jobs will be created during construction and 700 ongoing jobs for people  in regional communities.

This once-in-a-generation project will see more than 60 per cent of the project using and upgrading existing rail lines and corridors. The remaining 40 per cent will see construction of a new rail including a section of more than 300km between Narrabri and Narromine.

The project will boost Australia’s GDP by $16 billion through construction and its first 50 years of operation. 

To take advantage of the massive opportunities offered by Inland Rail, the NSW Government announced Parkes Special Activation Precinct as part of its 20-year economic vision for Regional NSW. It will serve as an inland port, attract major employers, drive local economies and bring regional suppliers closer to their customers in the Central West region.