AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Intermodal hub planned for Sydney’s outskirts

<p>South west Sydney could see an open access, multi-user intermodal terminal up and running within two years.</p> <p>Macarthur Intermodal Shipping Terminal (MIST), on the outskirts of Sydney, is working with adjacent property owners ING and Austrak to develop the Greater Minto Terminal.</p> <p>The &#8220freight village&#8221 was designed with space for significant warehousing development, links to the interstate road and rail network, and the capacity to house a new locomotive fleet. </p> <p>MIST at present houses road interest Bowport Allroads and rail concern, Lachlan Valley Rail Freight.</p> <p>On October 13, MIST managing director Steve Heraghty acquired 1.6 ha of land with a rail siding adjacent to his freight terminal from Toll Holdings. </p> <p>Toll sold the land to Mr Heraghty under the Toll-Patrick divestiture agreement, handed down by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.</p> <p>The acquisition is the final piece in an industrial property puzzle five years in the making.</p> <p>If developed to plan, the Greater Minto Terminal could accommodate trains 1.5 km in length.</p> <p>MIST is awaiting approval from the Campbelltown Council to develop two lengths of rail track outside the present facility. Each track would be approximately 2 km in length, on the eastern side of the Main Southern Rail Line between Ben Lomond Road and Rose Payten Drive.</p> <p>"That would give us a hell of a marshalling yard out there &#8211 we could get the locos and wagons off the main line, and into these collective properties," Mr Heraghty said. </p> <p>The application has been publicly exhibited and notified to affected land owners. A spokesperson for Campbelltown Council said a decision on the development would not be handed down until the first quarter of 2007.</p> <p>MIST’s rail plans are extensive. In addition to the proposed 4 km of rail track outside the terminal, Mr Heraghty plans to build approximately 2.7 km of track within it &#8211 comprising two 645-metre lengths of track, and two 700-metre tracks, adjacent to the main southern line. </p> <p>Early last year Mr Heraghty purchased 16 locomotives from Denmark. The locos, fitted with 2,700 kW engines, are now being refurbish. Mr Heraghty plans to brand the new fleet &#8220Independent Rail&#8221. The fleet is due for service mid-2007.</p> <p>The proposed Greater Minto Terminal development would mirror Austrak’s Somerton intermodal venture, Mr Heraghty said. </p> <p>Improvements on the rail line between Minto and Somerton would enable a fast rail service, with times competitive to road transport. </p> <p>Improvements on the Melbourne-Brisbane rail line &#8211 including the creation of new passing loops &#8211 build the case for an express rail service. Additionally, a new dedicated freight line between Chullora and Macarthur will be built past the MIST site. </p> <p>"Big movements of rail traffic between Minto and Somerton, from outskirt to outskirt, will help ease congestion,&#8221 Mr Heraghty said. &#8220It will also create a link from the intermodal terminal to the port.</p> <p>"The rail service becomes competitive with a truck.</p> <p>&#8220Before [Australian Rail Track Corporation investment&#93, there were a lot of single-line sections between the Sydney and Melbourne, allowing one train at a time on the line. </p> <p>&#8220Now they’re actually building parking bays so you can pull a train up, to allow another to get past.&#8221</p> <p>&#8226 Full story in <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> , out tomorrow.</p> <br />