Freight operators will soon have greater access to the Chullora Intermodal with the Federal and NSW governments agreeing to fund the first stage of upgrades which will see local roads connecting to the facility to the Hume Highway.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said $345,000 project will target Muir Road between Rockwood Road and Dasea Street as well as Dasea Street to the entrance of the Terminal.
“The package of works will involve resurfacing section of these two roads as well as strengthening their foundations at various points, measures which will allow them to be used by heavier vehicles,” Albanese said.
“The relatively small investment being made here will deliver major long term benefits. In fact Infrastructures Australia has estimated that the current restrictions on the use of these roads has cost the economy and freight operators some $22 million over the past five years.
“What's more, fixing these local roads connecting major highways to important freight hubs such as the one at Chullora is in line with the recommendations set out in our National Freight Strategy and will help boost national productivity.”
The Federal Government has committed $172,500 to the project, with the NSW Government providing the balance.
NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the project demonstrates intergovernmental cooperation to address the ‘last mile’ access issue.
“In addition to the Federal Government, this project also involves a partnership with Bankstown Council and I look forward to working with them to get it done,” Gay said.
“We expect work to begin in coming months and be completed before the end of the year.”
National transport and logistics company QR is accelerating its push into the billion-dollar general freight market by leasing nine new locomotives from Downer EDI in a $45 million, five-year deal.
QR’s intermodal (containerised) business has negotiated a five-year lease of nine new GT46 Ace locomotives from Locomotive Demand Power Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd.
QR claims the lease will provide QR Intermodal with a competitive advantage in the $1.2 billion a year national general freight market for rail linehaul services.
QR Executive General Manager Freight Ken Lewsey said the first of the locomotives would come on line in late December 2008, and with final delivery planned by mid next year, QR would be well positioned to offer a much improved service to our customers.
“The leasing agreement is another sign of QR’s sharper customer focus, commitment to the national intermodal market and plans to leverage market growth opportunities.
“The national general (non-bulk) freight market is forecast to double between 2000 and 2020 and we expect rail to capture an increasing share of this market with QR Intermodal at the forefront of this modal shift,” Mr Lewsey said.
“The lease of the new locomotives delivers a range of benefits for us including improved reliability for the interstate component of our Cairns to Perth services and reduced fuel and maintenance costs.
“The agreement boosts QR Intermodal’s capital investment program, which includes the previously announced purchase of 18 new locomotives and 488 wagons for $187 million and the upgrade of our terminal at Forrestfield in Perth.
“It is also consistent with our strategy of offering reliable cost effective linehaul train services through the use of new fit-for-purpose equipment and terminals.”
Each week QR Intermodal offers four services on the eastern seaboard between Cairns and Melbourne, six services from Melbourne to Adelaide and two services from Melbourne to Perth.