If the train goes to Maitland, why would you waste time to run the train to Brisbane when there is a port at Newcastle. This is very much about getting NSW exports into NSW ports hands and from Tamworth the train to Newcaslte is extremely viable. About the same distance by train to Newcastle as it is to Brisbane by road.If a freight train from Tamworth to Newcastle is extremely viable, then why isn't there one already? A shiny new intermodal terminal isn't going to change the cost structure that much.
And if NSW exports have to go via NSW ports I think its high time we introduced passport controls at the border.
The coal industry has dominated the rail lines in this area is why. If you didn't have coal then no freight trains and so everything got put onto trucks.
Improvements and efficiencies in the hunter rail network is opening up new opportunities that were not there for freight before. To bring these rail opportunities requires building new intermodals as there are no intermodal facilities to take advantage of rail in these towns. Building these new facilities will provide the ability to use rail once again and a side effect will be removing trucks from our roads and hopefully reducing the road toll.
Keeping goods in NSW ports means more money for NSW to fix the roads which Victorian, South Australian and Brisbane trucks have destroyed.