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GrainCorp train loads at Croppa Creek after six-year hiatus

Grain Central, March 4, 2024

GrainCorp loaded a train with canola at Croppa Creek to form the first load on the line in more than six year. Photo:

THE first GrainCorp train in more than six years has run on the track north of Moree to mark a milestone on the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail in the far north of New South Wales.

The Pacific National train loaded up to 55 tonnes of canola into each of its 48 wagons at the Croppa Creek GrainCorp site, around 60km north-east of Moree, to carry a total of approximately 2600t of product.

It is the first of a dozen trains that will be loaded out of Croppa Creek in the next month.

The canola was transported to the Port of Newcastle for loading on to a vessel bound for Europe.

Residents and carriers in the region are advised that with commercial trains now using the line north of Moree, all road users are reminded to look out for trains at level crossings.

Drought in the Moree region from 2017 to 2019 saw minimal volumes grown, and quashed the need for rail freight out of GrainCorp sites on the North Star line up to the 2020 harvest.

The N2NS project started construction in 2021 and major construction on Phase 1 of the project, which included upgrading 176km of track along the existing rail corridor, was completed in October last year.

Inland Rail also completed upgrades to seven bridges, enhanced safety at 57 level crossings with 10 passive level crossings upgraded to active with bells, lights, and boom gates, and has improved telecommunications for local communities.

The upgrades deliver a more efficient and reliable line for local producers, boosting resilience against extreme weather events, with the track withstanding the worst flood in a decade to hit Moree in 2022.

Phase 2 of the N2NS project, which involves further upgrades and building 2km of new track north of Moree, is currently in approvals with Inland Rail now preparing a Preferred Infrastructure Report and a Response to Submissions for the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.

Once Phase 2 is completed, the upgraded track between Narrabri and North Star will allow freight customers to transport heavier freight volumes at higher speeds through its access to the Australian Rail Track Corporation Hunter Valley Rail Network, boosting their productivity and efficiency.

Mick Grant, said:

“Inland Rail’s upgrades to the rail line and the siding at Croppa Creek have enabled a safe and efficient transport of a bumper canola harvest from our facility to the port of Newcastle,” GrainCorp area manager Moree North cluster Mick Grant said.

“We are proud to do our part utilising Inland Rail to reduce the carbon emissions of Australia’s freight industry, with each of our grain trains getting the equivalent freight volume of 50 B-double trucks off NSW roads.”

Source: Inland Rail

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  1. Rick Banyard, March 5, 2024

    Great to see the connection of Moree to the Port of Newcastle.
    If only the Ardglen tunnel was to be upgraded the cost of freight could be reduced. Using as many as ten locos to push trains over the hill is nothing short of a very expensive joke!

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