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MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Sept. 18) - Southern and
Northern Australia have been linked by a railway through the center of the

The railway, between the cities of Adelaide in South Australia
and Darwin in the Northern Territory, is the culmination of a 145-year-old dream
to create a trans-Australian rail route.

The railway will allow produce from southern Australia to be
shipped to Asia through the northern port of Darwin.

The A$1 billion project is a week from completion with 12
kilometers left to lay to the end of the line at Port Darwin.

A ceremony has been held near the town of Alice Springs to mark
the final weld linking the existing Adelaide to Alice Springs railway with the
new line.

About 250 people attended the ceremony, including South
Australia's premier, Mike Rann.

Mr Rann says the railway offers manufacturers an export corridor
to the gateway of South East Asia.

"But it's also, of course, going to be one of the great
railway journeys of the world," he said.

September 19, 2003

Radio Australia:


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