A new rail siding in Coonamble South has been installed, ready for the 2020/21 grain season.
The siding, located in the Central West of NSW, would improve grain movements from the interior of the state, said Minister for Regional Roads and Transport Paul Toole.
“Previously the positioning of the old mainline grain loading point at Coonamble caused delays for trains for up to eight hours, creating congestion and holding up the movement of grain to port,” Toole said.
“The new rail siding will create an extra 450 hours each year where trains can pass through this section of track without being held up.
The new location will also help shift further freight onto rail.
“It will also see the three grain loading points in Coonamble better utilised and potentially encourage the transporting of grain off roads and onto rail, reducing the impacts of heavy vehicles on the road network,” said Toole.
The siding was built with a $2.5 million investment as part of the NSW government’s Fixing Country Rail program, which is funding $400m worth of upgrades to support, reinvigorate, and upgrade regional freight infrastructure.
Member of the NSW upper house Sam Farraway said the upgrades will boost productivity and confidence in rail.
“These upgrades have multiple flow-on effects, including more time to access the wider network and port, alleviating the pressure to find space on the rail network to meet shipping schedules,” he said.
The siding was announced as receiving funding in February 2019.