Close Up Of Freight Train

The $40 million South Coast Line upgrade has been completed, with works on 13km of track to provide bigger rail freight movement in New South Wales.

New South Wales Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Sam Farraway, said the upgrade will play a significant role in ensuring more freight can be transported by rail in New South Wales.

“Rail freight is the most sustainable and cost-effective way to transport large quantities over long distances – one 600m-long train can carry the equivalent load of more than 54 trucks and enough wheat to make more than 250,000 loaves of bread,” Mr Farraway said.

“With growing freight demand along the South Coast rail line, being able to increase capacity will make a significant difference, allowing users to reach markets quickly and efficiently.

“Thanks to this upgrade, it is anticipated an additional 350,000 tonnes of rail freight will be moved along the South Coast Line each year which will provide a welcome boost to the local economy.”

Australian-owned agribusiness Manildra Group, who employs 1,000 people and sends its homegrown products to every continent, will benefit from the rail line upgrade. 

Manildra Group National Transport and Logistics Manager, Mark Ownes, said the track upgrade to 25-tonne axle loading between Berry to Bomaderry and the tunnels between Kiama and Berry will allow the company to operate heavier and longer rail services through the network.

“This ultimately means we can meet both our current and future growth targets for both inbound raw materials to our Bomaderry facility and for our export freight to the Port of Botany to meet the export market, which benefits both regional employment and the New South Wales trade and economy,” Mr Ownes said.

Parliamentary Secretary for Wollongong and the Illawarra, Peter Poulos, said freight projects funded by the New South Wales Government will improve the supply chain network so communities can get the goods and services they want when they need it most.

“Since 2011, $5.15 billion has been committed to upgrading the Princes Highway from Albion Park to the Victorian border,” Mr Poulos said.

“These upgrades along with the completion of the rail line will transform the way freight moves across our state, which helps local businesses, our economy, and most of all families.”

Larger freight trains are expected to be operating on the South Coast Line by July 2022.

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