Victoria’s minister for ports and freight Melissa Horne officially opened a rail freight terminal in Ultima, northern Victorian, for exporting to the Asian market.
The QUBE Ultima Intermodal Terminal officially opened yesterday, however trains have been running on the line since at least June according to Fully Loaded.
Recently, the state government spent $23 million on an upgrade of the Manangatang freight line. It went towards the replacement of sleepers over a 90km section of the line in the Ultima region by V/Line. Track formation was also improved with new ballast which will improve the ride quality for trains.
Two trains a week currently service the Ultima facility, but it’s expected that will expand to three or four trains a week.
“This new facility is creating jobs for the local community and is helping to get more freight onto rail – removing around 4,000 truck trips every year from Victorian roads,” Horne said.
QUBE, Pentarch Agricultural and Pickering Transport, through a joint venture, invested $3.65 million in the facility
“Already two trains a week are using this terminal to provide integrated rail solutions to the intermodal and bulk markets, and we hope to expand this when more local products become available later this summer,” QUBE Managing Director Maurice James said.
Hay from local farms is compressed and loaded into containers at the facility. The containers are then put on a train and taken to the Port of Melbourne for export to Asia.
Pentarch markets Australian oaten hay, cottonseed and other grain internationally and the new facility will generate millions of dollars in new exports to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.