Inland Rail ceremony highlights hub development


Pacific National hails Parkes terminal progress as first sod is turned

Inland Rail ceremony highlights hub development
The ceremonial first sod being turned on the Inland Rail Project

 

Pacific National has underlined its $35 million Parkes Logistics Terminal investment as federal transport minister Michael McCormack turns the symbolic ‘first sod’ on the related Inland Rail Project.

Pacific National sees its project, within the Parkes Shire Council’s National Logistics Hub, as one of the largest private sector investments in freight infrastructure in regional Australia, "helping to give the Australian Government’s Inland Rail project added momentum".

"Parkes sits at the epicentre of Australia’s rail freight network, and Pacific National is delighted with our initial $35 million commitment to develop the Parkes Logistics Terminal," Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle says.

"Located at the intersection of the main western railway line running from Sydney to Perth, the future Inland Rail corridor from Melbourne to Brisbane, and the Newell Highway, Parkes is the perfect place to establish a major intermodal freight terminal."

Major construction of Pacific National’s terminal, including extensive earthworks, began in October.

Freight trains 1,800-metres in length are expected to be hauling from the terminal in mid-to-late 2019.

Once fully operational, Pacific National’s Parkes Logistics Terminal will have the capacity to process approximately 450,000 cargo containers each year, including the ability to haul double-stacked containers from Parkes to Perth.

"In the future, Pacific National will have the ability to consolidate thousands of cargo containers in Parkes. Our customers – including regional exporters – will have the option to access the ports of Melbourne, Brisbane, Botany or Fremantle," Dalla Valle says.

Pacific National’s initial $35 million investment includes $18 million to start developing the terminal and $17 million for ‘rolling stock’ like freight wagons.

Construction of Parkes Logistics Terminal will generate up to 50 jobs, while the future terminal will have a workforce of approximately 100 people; including train crews.


Read how government and business is looking to progress the Inland Rail  vision, here


 

The ceremonial first sod was turned with Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) executives, the construction contractor INLink and other dignitaries at the site in Parkes.

Construction of the project is starting where the first 5.3kms of new track for Inland Rail will be built. About 98km of existing corridors are being upgraded between Parkes to Narromine.

"The sod-turn for Inland Rail is a significant, momentous occasion and it’s fitting to celebrate it at the site where the first greenfield section of Inland Rail will be built," ARTC CEO John Fullerton says.

"When Inland Rail is operational, Parkes will be an important hub with double stacked, 1800 metre trains connecting west to Perth and Adelaide and along the east coast between Melbourne and Brisbane.

"Australia’s rail system has always been essential to the freight supply chain and once built, Inland Rail will enhance the national freight rail network – creating jobs, reducing supply chain costs and making Australia more competitive by linking-in with other major infrastructure to connect cities and farms to markets; faster, safer and more efficiently."

Inland Rail CEO Richard Wankmuller believes Inland Rail will transform the way Australia moves freight around the country and support the economy into the future by providing the backbone for a world-class supply chain.

"With Inland Rail we will have a more resilient rail network, with multiple pathways to meet the needs of our customers while also providing flexibility for our farmers by connecting to existing regional freight lines," Wankmuller says.

"Inland Rail is the safe, sustainable, integrated solution that will help address Australia’s current freight inefficiencies.

"This new 1700km freight rail line will help capture commercial opportunities in both metropolitan and regional areas through more efficient and commercially responsive supply chains.

"ARTC is focused on timely project delivery and with support from the government, in partnership with the private sector and hand in hand with the community, we will ensure as many of the benefits as possible from Inland Rail will flow to local regions as well as the national economy."

ARTC chairman Warren Truss said with Inland Rail now in construction, the benefits and jobs are being realised today around the nation with Aussie steel from Whyalla, concrete sleepers being fabricated in the NSW Southern Highlands, ballast coming from Parkes and culverts produced in Tamworth.

"Inland Rail will generate opportunities and benefits to the regions – 16,000 jobs and $16 billion dollars to the economy and will stimulate business activity beyond the construction phase," Truss says.

Inland Rail is spruiked as offering a road competitive service which will reduce rail freight transit times between Melbourne and Brisbane to less than 24 hours, "with reliability, freight availability and pricing to meet growing customer needs".

Inland Rail will include approximately 1,100km of major upgrades and enhancements to existing track and construction of approximately 600kms of new track.

 

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