Forces: August 20, 2001


Australia has announced plans to build a new rail line that will provide the first rail links between Darwin in northern Australia with the main rail grid in the south. This will involve upgrading 800 kilometers of existing track and laying another 1420 kilometers of new track. This will have economic benefits, but the key purpose is to support the 1st Brigade, which is based at Darwin. To reach training areas, the brigade must move hundreds of kilometers on its own wheels and tracks, wearing out the vehicles tracks. The rail line (to be in service in 2004) will also improve the shipment of bulk fuel and supplies to the 1st Brigade.--Stephen V Cole


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