Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project gaining momentum

Australia’s largest rail freight operator, Pacific National, has in the last year committed $35 million to develop the company’s Parkes Logistics Terminal, located within the Parkes Shire Council’s National Logistics Hub.

Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle said it was one of the largest private sector investments in freight infrastructure in regional Australia, helping to give the Australian Government’s Inland Rail project added momentum.

“Parkes sits at the epicentre of Australia’s rail freight network, and Pacific National is delighted with our initial $35 million commitment to develop the Parkes Logistics Terminal,” said Mr Dalla Valle.

“Located at the intersection of the main western railway line running from Sydney to Perth, the future Inland Rail corridor from Melbourne to Brisbane, and the Newell Highway, Parkes is the perfect place to establish a major intermodal freight terminal,” said Mr Dalla Valle.

Major construction of Pacific National’s terminal, including extensive earthworks, commenced in October 2018. Freight trains 1,800-metres in length are expected to be hauling from the terminal in mid-to-late 2019.

Mr Dalla Valle said once fully operational, Pacific National’s Parkes Logistics Terminal will have the capacity to process approximately 450,000 cargo containers each year, including the ability to haul double-stacked containers from Parkes to Perth.

“In the future, Pacific National will have the ability to consolidate thousands of cargo containers in Parkes. Our customers – including regional exporters – will have the option to access the ports of Melbourne, Brisbane, Botany or Fremantle,” said Mr Dalla Valle.

Pacific National’s initial $35 million investment includes $18 million to start developing the terminal and $17 million for ‘rolling stock’ like freight wagons.

Construction of Parkes Logistics Terminal will generate up to 50 jobs, while the future terminal will have a workforce of approximately 100 people; including train crews.

Mr Dalla Valle said Pacific National is committed to working closely with federal, state and local governments to enhance the efficiency of moving goods and commodities by rail across Australia.

“Moving freight by rail is safer, more efficient and better for the environment – it also helps to provide secure, long-term skilled jobs; particularly in regional towns like Parkes,” said Mr Dalla Valle.

A 2017 Deloitte Access Economics report found that for every tonne of freight hauled, road freight produces 14 times greater accident costs than rail freight and 16 times as much carbon pollution.

Mr Dalla Valle said a single 1,800-metre freight train hauling containers is equivalent to removing 70 B- Double trucks from our roads.

Media: Andrew Huckel, Pacific National Director of External Affairs 0455 455 844