Fremantle rail upgrade completed

24/11/2014 - 11:09

The completion of a $65 million infrastructure upgrade at Fremantle harbour is designed to boost the amount of freight carried on rail, but the key players are coy on how much difference the recent investment will make.

Fremantle rail upgrade completed

The completion of a $65 million infrastructure upgrade at Fremantle harbour is designed to boost the amount of freight carried on rail, but the key players are coy on how much difference the recent investment will make.

The upgrade includes an extension of the North Quay rail terminal from 400 metres to 690 metres, and the construction of a crossing loop at Spearwood that enables freight trains to pass on the rail line connecting the port with the Kewdale/Forrestfield area.

Perth-based logistics company Intermodal Group, which operates the North Quay rail terminal, said the changes would increase the efficiency and capability of its service.

“It makes the rail services even more competitive as a means of transporting containers to and from Rous Head,” general manager Darrin Smith said.

Rail accounted for 14 per cent of container movements to and from the port during the 2013-14 financial year.

While this is well up on the levels achieved a decade ago, it is unchanged from 2012-13 and actually down from the 15 per cent achieved in 2008-09.

Intermodal has an aspirational target of 30 per cent, in line with state government objectives, but has not set a date for achieving that level.

Mr Smith said additional infrastructure improvements, such as the development of adjoining empty container parks and improved access between the rail yard and the stevedores’ terminal, would assist.

Intermodal already operates the largest inland empty container park in Western Australia, at its Forrestfield terminal.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the government was committed to investing in rail projects to provide additional capacity for growth.

Meanwhile, Fremantle Ports has recently completed the development of roads and services on land reclaimed at Rous Head as a result of the 2010 harbour deepening.

Caltex has developed a truck stop and refuelling facility, while Rous Head Cargo Services (a joint venture between Stevenson Logistics and Container Cargo Specialists) has completed a new facility and Toll Group, and Qube Logistics are currently developing their facilities.

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