Burren Junction upgrade opens in record time and under budget
The first grain train for the season departed from the newly upgraded Burren Junction site today, after a major upgrade was completed as part of the NSW Government pilot round of the $400 million Fixing Country Rail program.
Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay said the first completed project has extended the siding extension at Burren Junction from 500 to 1500 metres which will see faster wagon load times and was completed in record time and under budget.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to see the very first train departing with this season’s grain at Burren Junction. The NSW Government is determined to shift more bulk freight on to railway lines and the success of this project revamps the movement of produce from paddock to port for the North-West,” Mr Gay said.
“This upgrade ticks all the boxes, the siding extension means for every train leaving Burren Junction 70 trucks are being removed from local roads. Producers will be able to save $9 per tonne and loading times have been reduced for a 40 wagon train by 70 per cent from 13 hours to 4 hours.
“The freight transport network is the backbone of the state‘s North West and we need to improve its efficiency to take more freight off our local and regional roads – a massive win for regional communities, economies and the state’s producers.”
The project’s total and final cost of $1.1 million was well under the original $1.75 million estimated cost, with the NSW Government investing $825,000 and GrainCorp contributing the remaining $275,000.
This track work complements GrainCorp’s $3.66 million rail loading infrastructure upgrade at Burren Junction, on the Narrabri to Walgett rail line.
In August the NSW Government announced $15 million to fund 10 pilot projects to kick start improvements to the state’s rail freight network on top of the $400 million Fixing Country Rail program.
Since March 2011, the NSW Government has invested more than $1 billion in the operation, maintenance and upgrading of the Country Regional Network which comprises of 2,386 kilometres of operational railway lines.