Upgraded Red Bend siding open for outloading

Grain Central January 15, 2024

Upgrading of the Red Bend rail siding near Forbes has been completed. Source: NSW Government

AN UPGRADE to the Red Bend siding in the Central West of New South Wales has been completed to allow for faster and safer outloading of grain by rail at the busy site just south of Forbes.

The $6.2-million upgrade allows larger trains to exit the main line to load and unload bulk commodities including wheat, barley and canola.

The upgrade has added 400 metres to the siding, allowing a 48-wagon train to be loaded in two 24-wagon sections without encroaching on the main line.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said previously, the shorter siding length could only accommodate a 20-wagon train, adding substantial time to the process.

“This is a clear example of how investing in the NSW rail network has numerous practical advantages,” Ms Aitchison said.

“In simple terms, a more efficient and sustainable freight transport helps everyone in the supply chain to reduce costs.

“This will ultimately benefit the consumer and their hip pockets.”

GrainCorp General Manager of Operations Nigel Lotz said the GrainCorp site receives on average 120,000 tonnes of grain per harvest.

“The region is a significant grain-growing area in NSW,” Mr Lotz said.

“It’s important for local growers to have access to critical export markets as well as domestic customers in bigger years, and to be able to take advantage of the pricing benefits of a quick train cycle to the ports.

“This can only be achieved through efficient rail services, which is why this rail loading capability is so important to the grains supply chain.

“Ultimately, when the industry can cut down transport costs this benefits consumers as well as growers.

“The project has also increased our loading capacity and improved the cycle times of trains from up to 72 hours down to 36 hours, improving the safety outcomes and overall site experience for our teams and growers alike.”

The Red Bend upgrade is expected to divert 26,000t of grain annually from trucks to trains, which would remove an estimated 660 truck movements from Central West roads, contributing to safer journeys for everyone.

Australian Rail Track Corporation group executive interstate network Simon Ormsby said diverting grain from trucks to trains was a win for everyone.

“ARTC is pleased to support farmers to get their produce to local and international markets more efficiently,” Mr Ormsby said.

“It’s good business for farmers and great for the community because it means more freight on rail and less trucks on our roads.”

The Red Bend rail improvement project was supported by a $5.14M investment from GrainCorp, $970,000 from the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Rail Program and an in-kind contribution of $90,000 from the ARTC.

Source: Transport for NSW


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