Farmers all aboard fixing rail lines
WITH the opening of the NSW Government's $400 million Fixing Country Rail Program, NSW Farmers has been working with industry to develop a sector-wide vision to guide decision making to maximise positive returns to growers.
Chair of the NSW Farmers' Grains Committee, Rebecca Reardon, said working with industry had allowed them to put the needs of growers and regional communities first.
"The cost of transporting grain to port represents over one third of production costs. Finding ways to more efficiently move grain and drive connectivity and competition is essential to lower supply chain costs and to driving up grower returns," Mrs Reardon said.
In an industry first, NSW Farmers convened an industry roundtable in Sydney this week, bringing together rail operators to develop a priority investment plan.
"We have agreed a high-level, future vision of a network which is free of pinch and choke points, has lowered train cycle times by a minimum 25 to 33 per cent, and increases train payload through improvements to line carrying capacity on bulk, container and branch rail lines," Mrs Reardon said.
"This has informed our call for funding priorities to include the addressing of pinch points, the upgrade of main bulk lines to a capacity of 23 t TAL, staged upgrade of branch lines to improve train cycle times and to enhance competition and encourage private investment."