Saturday 20th Apr, 2019

$7.2m to build new Henty rail crossing

Photo: Greg Alpin

GrainCorp has welcomed a joint commitment from federal, state and local governments to facilitate direct access for B-Doubles to its facility at Henty and build a safer new railway crossing nearby.

The $7.2 million project announced on February 1 will build a new railway crossing roughly 800 metres north of the existing unprotected crossing north of Henty, in southwestern New South Wales. The old crossing will be closed.

The funding will also realign roughly one kilometre of the Olympic Highway east of its existing alignment, and build a new intersection between Grubben Road, Orange Flat Lane and the new railway crossing.

$3.1 million in funding for the project comes from the State Government, $3.6 million comes from the Federal Government, and the local Greater Hume Council has earmarked $500,000 for the work.

GrainCorp general manager of operations Nigel Lotz said the company was proud to be an industry supporter of the rail crossing upgrade, saying it would significantly improve safety for the entire community, while also improving productivity.

“Our Henty West facility is a vital part of the region’s grain export supply chain,” he said, “linking local grain to the world markets. Over the past couple of years we’ve already spent nearly $1.3 million in rail and site upgrades to provide a modern and efficient site for local growers. The new direct access to the site will make the site more efficient by reducing road freight costs for growers, which will put more money directly into their pockets.”

Greater Hume Council mayor Heather Wilton said the local government had been working hard on getting the project over the line since a truck and passenger train almost collided at the crossing in 2013.

“We have knocked on many doors to raise this issue,” Wilton said. “It has been at the top of our list for infrastructure funding for over five years. The project had also been identified as a key priority in the Regional Economic Development Strategy released last year, as important infrastructure for the region.”

NSW member for Albury Greg Aplin said the new crossing would have signals and boom gates, and said the new road alignment would mean fewer large trucks moving through the township of Henty to get to and from the GrainCorp site.

“Locals know that large numbers of grain trucks drive through Henty because they are too long to safely use the current Williams Crossing, regardless of whether they are travelling north or south along the Olympic Highway,” Alpin said.

“The new alignment will allow B-triples to safely wait on the Olympic Highway if a train is passing through the crossing and then travel directly to GrainCorp, meaning they will no longer have to detour through the town. Taking trucks off local streets will improve pedestrian safety in Henty while the new custom designed crossing will reduce the risk of intrusions.”

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