Inland Rail brings comms to remote NSW communities

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Inland Rail brings comms to remote NSW communities

ARTC, Telstra start work on upgrade project.

Telstra and the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) have started work on a $3.4 million project to improve communications on the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) inland rail section.

Inland Rail is a 1700km freight rail network that will connect Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, NSW and Queensland, according to the ARTC.

When complete, the N2NS alignment will have 4G coverage for trains travelling on the line.

As well as improving communications for rail systems operations, the upgrade will also provide better connectivity for rural communities on the line.

The alignment runs from Narrabri to Moree, before heading north-east to North Star, passing a number of remote townships along the way.

As well as better communications in North Star, Telstra noted the project will bring a new base station to Crooble and a small cell base station in Croppa Creek, both north-east of Moree, and an existing base station in Gurley, south of Moree, is to get an upgrade.

Telstra will roll out the enhancements, and manage ongoing operations and maintenance.

ARTC said a positive legacy along the rail corridor is a key commitment of the Inland Rail project.

"We are committed to doing what we can to benefit communities beyond freight logistics, and rail infrastructure – that includes providing additional opportunity for regional development," Inland Rail’s interim CEO Rebecca Pickering said.

“Inland Rail is being predominantly delivered in regional Australia, meaning there is a prime opportunity for regional Australia to reap the immediate benefits that come with construction. 

Pickering said as of December 2022, the project had seen $224 million spent with “local businesses and suppliers”.

“When completed in early May 2023, we expect the new mobile base station at North Star to provide approximately 15km of improved or new 4G coverage for residents and visitors in a radius from the base station”, said Telstra Enterprise channel and network sales executive Andrew Stormont.

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