Upgraded SSFL is reliable: ARTC


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With works to the billion dollar Southern Sydney Freight Line complete ARTC and operators are developing better scheduling

Upgraded SSFL is reliable: ARTC
SSFL fully operational January 21

By Anna Game-Lopata | January 14, 2013

Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) billion dollar Southern Sydney Freight Line (SSFL) has been completed and will be fully operational January 21.

The 36 kilometre, dedicated freight line runs from Sefton Park near Enfield through to Macarthur in the south, near Campbelltown.

ARTC CEO John Fullerton says
the organisation
is working on a new service schedule to to build confidence in the SSFL’s ability to deliver a reliable service.

"The cooperative effort between ARTC and rail operators to achieve reliable schedules and to sell the best service to customers is very much our key focus over the next six months," Fullerton says.

But he says reliability isn’t just a track issue.

"Rail operators must run train service on time and many of them are investing in new equipment, which is a positive sign for the north-south corridor," Fullerton says.

"They've bought new locomotives and they're upgrading their terminals so that's a positive step in the right direction."

ARTC's SSFL
has
been built adjacent to the passenger network and links with the metropolitan freight network (MFN) which runs between North Strathfield through Enfield into Port Botany.

"We're halfway through upgrading
the MFN in relation to staging roads at Enfield and some further handling upgrades along the network itself," Fullerton says.

ARTC is currently leasing the
MFN from Transport for NSW, but last August signed an agreement giving it operational control of the last 18 kilometres of the line between Enfield West and Port Botany following competion of works in 2014.

Fullerton says ARTC is
working hard
to win some of the road industry's 80 percent market share
of the
north-south corridor between Melbourne and Brisbane where rail upgrades to the ARTC rail network have delivered
spare capacity.

"Our plans now are to work closely with Transport for New South Wales on how can we capture more freight on the metropolitan freight network into Botany and competitively deliver those containers out of Botany to outlying areas," Fullerton says.

Fullerton says once the upgrades to the MFN are complete, the SSFL network will be able to move in excess of one million TEU per year.

It currently commands
14 per cent of the container market, amounting to about 250,000 TEU per year.

"We’ll quadruple the current volume with the capacity we are providing on the MFN network," Fullerton says.
"We're well-positioned to handle increased volumes as they occur."

"It is a very positive step forward," he adds.

"We've got a one stop shop for Sydney and now that we've really accomplished the full separation of freight from the passenger network, we really want it utilised to a greater extent."

Read the full article in the February issue of SupplyChain Review

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