AusRAIL, Market Sectors

AusBulk speeds up grain loading

<p>South Australian grain handler AusBulk is loading grain from silo to wagon at a rate of 1,000 tonnes an hour since it began using its new mobile fast rail loaders.</p> <p>The company successfully tested the new unit at its Murray Bridge silos and will now start a state-wide rollout at more than 100 receival sites.</p> <p>Minor modifications must be made to concrete silos to allow the mobile units to lock into storage cells. Grain is gravity fed onto a diesel-hydraulic driven conveyor belt that delivers the grain into railway wagons.</p> <p>Supply chain strategy executive director John Hill said the new machine is much cheaper than the fast rail loaders being used by AusBulk’s competitors.</p> <p>One company spent about $5m at one site achieving a 1,000 tonne per hour loading rate, but this level of investment isn’t an option in SA, Mr Hill said.</p> <p>"Fortunately we can now achieve similar efficiency rates as the more expensive installations at more of our sites for less than 2% of the capital cost."</p> <p>A train with 50 wagons can be loaded in about a quarter of the time that it would normally take, substantially reducing freight costs, he said.</p> <p>AusBulk also anticipates that more grain will be transported by train, rather than by truck, as the efficiency of grain-only rail lines improves.</p> <p>"Eyre Peninsula in particular would benefit from the introduction of the mobile units as it should lead to an improvement in rail’s share of grain traffic which will reduce pressure on the Port Lincoln end of the transport corridor," Mr Hill said.</p> <br />