Freight Rail

St Marys hub to give Pacific National a ‘Four Ps’ freight spine

Pacific National says a proposed St Marys Freight Hub will give it a network of major freight operations to revolutionise intermodal movements across the length and breadth of Australia.

Pacific National chief executive officer Dean Dalla Valle this week said the company’s proposed St Marys intermodal terminal in the Penrith region of Western Sydney will become the fourth ‘P’ in its national freight spine.

“Port Botany, Penrith, Parkes and Perth,” Dalla Valle said on Monday. “Australia’s largest rail freight operator has set in motion a plan to revolutionise freight movements across the length and breadth of the country.”

The freight rail operator, formed as its own entity through the breakup of Asciano in 2016,  has partnered with container logistics firm ACFS to make the proposed St Marys Freight Hub a key part of the supply chain for retail and consumer companies based in the Western Sydney region.

Pacific National says up to five train shuttle services a day between St Marys and Port Botany will facilitate 300,000 teu of containers per annum, removing between 70,000 and 80,000 truck movements from Sydney’s roads.

“St Marys is located within close proximity to the key industrial and commercial estates of Eastern Creek, Erskine Park, Wetherill Park, Arndell Park, and Marsden Park; not to mention the future Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek,” Dalla Valle said, adding the hub would be “a stone’s throw” from the M4 and M7 motorways and Great Western Highway.

It would also have direct access to the T1 Western Rail Line, for a 58-kilometre shuttle to and from Port Botany.

Dalla Valle said Pacific National’s future goal is to offer its customers, including regional exporters, more efficient and productive connections to rail heads, ports, and intermodal freight terminals where trains and trucks meet.

“Once the north-south Inland Rail is completed, the east-west spine at Parkes will have a faster and more efficient connection to the ports of Melbourne and Brisbane,” Dalla Valle said.

Pacific National’s Parkes terminal, currently under construction, will be tailored to the 1,800-metre, double-stacked freight trains planned for the future Inland Rail route between Melbourne and Brisbane. Parkes will form the junction between the Inland Rail and Australia’s existing east-west railway, providing access to Perth.

The St Marys hub will be designed to receive 1,200-metre regional trains from Parkes to be broken into 600-metre port shuttles to better access stevedoring terminals at Port Botany.

“The Penrith region will act as a conduit for regional freight between Western Sydney and Western NSW and further afield to Australia’s second largest port at Botany,” Dalla Valle explained.

Pending local and state government planning approvals, Pacific National aims to start construction of St Marys Freight Hub this year. First stage of the proposed freight hub development will support 60 full-time construction jobs.

When operational, the freight hub will create 150 new full-time jobs in Western Sydney.

Rail Express recently interviewed Dean Dalla Valle about the St Marys Freight Hub and how it fits into Pacific National’s national plan for freight. That feature will appear in the upcoming March-April edition.