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News & Views from the RTBU NSW Locomotive Division

Moorebank’s a good start but there’s much more to be done

May 9, 2012Update

By 2017 the new freight hub will be up and running in Moorebank including a much-needed rail link from Port Botany to Moorebank. Although it is predicted to remove 3,300 trucks from the road in that region of Sydney, it will not solve the current congestion on the existing rail networks.

While welcoming the Moorebank announcement the RTBU has called on the state government to increase the capacity for rail freight transport into and out of Sydney by developing more dedicated freight lines and hubs that do not have to share with passenger services.

It’s also crucial that proper planning enures that any new infrastructure developments are well integrated into the existing network to gain maximum efficiency.

“The commitment to improving freight handling has been desperately needed for a long time and the union has been consistently agitating the government,” says Robert Hayden, NSW Loco Division Secretary. “The construction of the new Southern Freight Line and the Northern Freight Corridor is a good start. Ideally, there would be a series of hubs dotted across the network – one for each line.”

In addition to Moorebank, the union says the proposed freight hub at Enfield, with a shuttle service to Port Botany and links to the entire NSW network, is also necessary.

Have your say: What do you think are the priorities for freight infrastructure?

One Comment to “Moorebank’s a good start but there’s much more to be done”

  • Industry reports don’t have much faith in the capabilities of Port Botany to deliver the required numbers of containers onto rail, to service the current intermodals, let alone a mega site like the ones proposed at Moorebank. I thought an industry magazine would be all over this deficiency, instead it’s promoting this idea that intermodals within the Sydney basin are the saviours of the freight industry. Scale of economies preclude Intermodals from turning a profit unless they’re at least 100 km apart, EIS studies from the USA show that they’re poisonous to the health and well being of the surrounding communities of up to a 10 Km radius and the invasion of numerous trucks into a suburban area brings with it many other issues that don’t exist before their arrival.
    There are going to be some very sorry and angry customers once they realize how much longer and costlier it will be to get a container delivered in Sydney via an Intermodal detour. Because of the relatively short distances encountered in the Sydney basin, the only economical and social solution is a better road net work with adequate facilities for freight trucks where possible. Not only would the freight industry benefit from better roads, but the rest of the community as well. As it stands now, the billions invested in freight only is like and elite few getting preferential treatment over the ordinary man in the street

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