Tamworth

More funding to begin freight rail works in Tamworth

The NSW government will inject $28 million to reopen a non-operational railway line, providing a rail connection to an intermodal terminal outside Tamworth.

The funding covers five kilometres of track on the West Tamworth to Barraba line, as well as new level crossings to allow freight access to the Tamworth Intermodal Freight Rail Terminal.

Rehabilitating the line will allow goods from Tamworth to be transported by rail to Port Botany for export, said NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

“This significant investment is key to the development of the new intermodal rail hub that will better connect Northern NSW’s producers and businesses to the world,” he said.

“When complete, a functioning intermodal rail hub and freight terminal in Tamworth will create a direct rail route to vessels docked at Port Botany, saving businesses significant freight costs.”

Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO Caroline Wilkie welcomed the announcement.

“This is an important step towards delivering a facility that will get more freight on rail and better connect NSW producers with their suppliers.”

Regional freight is expected to increase by 28 per cent from 2016 to 2036. Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said facilities such as the one in Tamworth will enable that freight to move more efficiently.

“Inland intermodals are an integral part of moving freight throughout NSW by providing a delivery point load breakdown services and an interface for road to rail integration,” he said.

The $28 million in funding will allow major works to progress along the line, after an initial $7.5 million committed in 2017 enabled early works to begin in May 2020.

Operations are expected to begin in 2021.

The work will include five level crossings as well as the interface between the West Tamworth to Barraba line and the Werris Creek to Armidale line.

Nearby road works are also underway, funded by the local, state, and federal governments.

Tamworth