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The very first train was loaded at Moree’s Broadbent Grain on Friday, marking an historic day for the grain receival company as well as the region’s rural economy.
Carrying 2,200 tonnes of locally grown grain from Broadbent to the Port of Newcastle, the train will replace 56 B-double trucks that would be heading usually heading to Brisbane, saving $40,000 a tonne in freight costs.
The 40-wagon grain train was the first to run on the newly-reinstated 2.8km section of the Moree to Inverell rail line in more than 20 years.
As part of the state government’s Fixing Country Rail program, the $1.6 million project to reopen the disused line will see more than 250,000 tonnes of grain and 6,000 trucks taken off our local roads.
Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said Friday was a great day for growers, the agricultural industry and for Moree.
Loading the train.
“Broadbent Grain will be able to get all of their produce out of this region faster, more efficiently, saving tens of thousands of dollars per train trip for local producers,” he said. “This is about investing in our key infrastructure and our production areas to squeeze that extra bit of productivity, extra bit of saving for companies like Broadbent, ultimately for our producers so that they’re keeping more of that profit at the farm gate, rather than spending it on friehgt or other aspects of that supply chain.”
The rail upgrade, which was coordinated and funded by Transport for NSW and built by John Holland Rail, complements Broadbent’s $3.3 million investment in bulk rail loading capacity and hard stand infrastructure at the site.
Broadbent Grain managing director Steve Broadbent said the transportation of grain by rail will save them $20 a tonne and significantly improve efficiency.
“It’s been a great collaboration between state government, local government and industry to bring this together and make this work,” he said.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, Broadbent Grain managing director Steve Broadbent and Moree Plains Shire Council’s John Carleton in front of the 1.3km long grain train being loaded on Friday.
Moree Plains Shire councillor Sue Price said with Moree the most agriculturally productive shire in the country, this project will significantly benefit the whole community.
“If farmers are saving more on the transportation of the product to market, they’ve got more money to spend in the community,” she said.
The reinstatement of the rail line began in late November last year and was completed in mid January.
This article first appeared on www.moreechampion.com.au
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