Moree agriculture rail freight fix ready for first train
A PROJECT investing $2 million to reinstate a disused section of rail line at Moree, enabling hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain, cotton and pulses to be railed to Newcastle instead of being sent by truck to Queensland, has been completed.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall recently inspected the finished work, funded by the NSW Government, which links Broadbent Grain’s receival facilities, which are on the former abandoned Moree-Inverell rail line, with the main line servicing Moree.
Mr Marshall said the new 2.8 kilometre line would take its first train on Monday, 13 February, which would carry grain from Moree to Newcastle.
“This means that about 250,000 tonnes of grain and 6,400 twenty foot containers of cotton and pulses – the equivalent of 6,000 trucks – per year can be moved by rail to Newcastle instead of having to go by road to Queensland ports.
“This is a big win for Moree’s rural economy and for jobs in country NSW. It’s an investment in appropriate transport options, better roads, and greater efficiency.
“It was great to show the Deputy Premier the finished line and have him understand the huge value of these sorts of projects to large agricultural producing areas like Moree.”
Mr Marshall said that, in addition to the new rails, the project saw 1,600 new steel sleepers laid on top of 574,000 tonnes of new ballast, which was sourced at a local Moree quarry.
“Amazingly, this whole project was completed in about a month by a work crew of just 10 men and five contractors,” he said.
“Using rail to get our commodities to port will cut freight costs massively, meaning more money for local primary producers, less truck on roads and highways and greater efficiency,” Mr Marshall said.
“This is a very exciting project for Moree and the whole region.”
Mr Marshall said the government was determined to shift more bulk freight onto railway lines to ensure produce can get from paddocks to ports as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“The freight transport network is the backbone of country NSW and we need to improve its efficiency to take more freight off our local and regional roads – a massive win for bush communities, economies and the state’s producers,” Mr Marshall said.
This project was funded as part of the NSW Government’s $15 million Fixing Country Rail pilot program.
Media Release: January 25, 2017