Casino Rail Freight Terminal gets back into gear

Five-year hiatus ends as northern NSW seeks to get into the intermodal act again

Casino Rail Freight Terminal gets back into gear
Richmond Valley Council mayor Ernie Bennett with Casino Rail Freight Terminal project managing director Phillip Imrie and indigenous elder Auntie Gwen turn the first sod.


Northern New South Wales is refusing to be left entirely behind the state’s south in the transport hub stakes, with a rail freight terminal at Casino gaining new impetus.

The concept is mature, with separate proposals from local for the hub at the saleyards site surfacing in 2009 and 2010 reportedly valued at $10 million and $24.4 million respectively.

Casino Rail Freight Terminal (CRFT) project, driven by a company of that name, now with a price tag of $12.7 million, is located on Reynolds Road, North Casino, and sits on the Sydney-Brisbane rail line, the Richmond Valley Council says.

The project aims to be an intermodal freight and grain accumulation facility the capacity to load two 750 metre trains or a single 1,550 metre train.

It is anticipated one short train would leave Brisbane daily and one long train would head south to Sydney or Melbourne every two or three days.

According to project managing director Phillip Imrie, the development will benefit the Richmond Valley along with the Lismore, Ballina and Kyogle council areas.

He adds that the terminal would contribute to removing about 10,000 short-term and 40,000 long-term, long-haul heavy vehicle trips from roads across the Northern Rivers region each year.

Imrie, who was involved with the earlier proposal, is managing director of rail consultancy Plateway and has held senior domestic management positions with power and automation technologies firm ABB as operations manager in Victoria, infrastructure manager for the Victorian regional rail network and track renewals manager covering regional NSW.

Richmond Valley mayor Ernie Bennett says the council is pleased to see the project go ahead as it would drive growth in the area and encourage other industries to consider setting up shop in Casino.

The freight terminal would also bring about more employment and reportedly has the involvement of the Casino Boolangle Local Aboriginal Land Council in a joint venture with CRFT.

"The Reynolds Road industrial precinct is slowly but surely taking off," Bennett says.

"Not only do we see upgrades and expansions to the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange, the Nammoona Waste Facility and the Northern Co-operative Meat Company, the precinct is also home to Boral Timber and Riverina Stock Feed.

"Council also recently received a proposal to establish a privately-funded and operated Waste Receiving and Processing Facility, and with today’s sod turning, the rail freight terminal will be underway in no time."






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