What I find surprising is that there isn't a port shuttle, like there is for Crawfords and Fletchers, from the Canberra region. Given the ~400k population base, id think that there would be a bit of a demand. Or is it because there is no suitable intermodal operator at the Canberra end?
I'd say its partly because there isn't any proper intermodal facilities at Canberra, or a intermodal operator who can be bothered to chase up enough small contracts to make it viable. The thing is, with Canberra, everyone wants it yesterday, and its only 3.5 hrs from Sydney by road, but a good run on a freight train will take about 6 hours.
The other thing, is there really isn't too much 'Bulk Commodities' in or out of Canberra, so a single contrace to underpin a intermodal rail service is quite unlikely.
Is it viable? Possibly, but are the established players willing to make the substantial effort to make the Canberra market viable? I'd suggest not.
Is a small player willing to make the huge effort required, and wear the risk of attempting such a venture? I'd suggest not.
The most suitable place to load/unload freight trains would be under the crane at ARHS ACT, but, they have too much rollingstock to make the tracks available, or the site suitable (as a significant portion of the ground space is taken up by dry-open storage for parts)
The next most suitable place was where Access were loading the trains, but neither John Holland, ACT Government (secretly wants land for Kingston Foreshore development), nor NSW Government were willing to invest in the maintenance of that site, and, it didn't take long for it to become unfeasible to load due to the uneven ground.
And now we arrive at the point the rail-freight scene in ACT is at, with Access slowly developing a Private siding, with $1 Million dollars of NSW tax money, where as, there would be a better, multi user site if that $1 Million was spent where Access were previously loading.
Having said that, good luck to Access Recycling, and I hope that they have a successful venture into the Canberra Intermodal market, as it means less trucks on roads, less truck accidents, less congestion on the roads, and a more efficient mode of transport is being used.