The re-opening of the Maimuru to Demondrille rail line will headline a series of pilot projects designed to kick-start the NSW Government’s $400 million Fixing Country Rail program.
NSW freight minister Duncan Gay has committed $15 million to fund 10 pilot projects, which make up the pilot round of the program, being delivered by Gay’s ministry over the next few years.
$14 million of the money will go towards the following six projects:
- $5 million towards the reinstatement of the Maimuru to Demondrille railway line
- $3 million for rail siding extension at Hillston to help service a major grain receival site
- $2 million for the reinstatement of a 2.8 kilometre section of the Moree to Inverell railway line at Moree
- $1.5 million for rail siding extension at Barellan to help service a major grain receival site
- $1.5 million for rail siding extension at Burren Junction to help service a major grain receival site
- $1 million for upgrading rail siding at the Canberra Railway Freight Terminal (Fyshwick)
The remaining $1 million will be spent on detailed planning and design work for the remaining four projects:
- A new turnout (allows trains to turn off the main track onto a siding) at the centre of Dunmore Loop at Shellharbour
- A new turnout at Unanderra
- A new crossing loop near Tarago
- The reinstatement of the non-operational line from West Tamworth to Westdale
Gay says the spending is part of the government’s plan to get more freight on rail.
“The NSW Government is determined to shift more bulk freight on to railway lines to ensure we get produce from paddocks to ports as quickly and efficiently as possible,” the minister said.
“The freight transport network is the backbone of country NSW and we need to improve its efficiency to take more freight off our local and regional roads – a massive win for regional communities, economies and the state’s producers.”
Funding for the ten pilot projects will be allocated to Transport for NSW as the network owner for the Country Regional Network and Metropolitan Rail Network.