Construction of a new section of rail track that will connect the Main Southern Railway to the future Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RiFL) Hub at Bomen in Wagga Wagga is now complete, bringing greater rail connectivity to the Riverina one step closer.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the newly completed master rail siding was part of the $14.4 million second stage which was funded through the NSW Government’s Fixing Rail Program and would enable freight trains to safely load and unload.
“The installation of this 4.9 kilometre section of track marks a significant milestone in the RiFL Hub program. Once complete, the precinct is set to become a thriving centre for freight servicing southern NSW and the rest of the state,” Mr Toole said.
“This precinct, the Inland Rail and the Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct will work hand-in-hand to fast-track access and connectivity to national and international markets for regional businesses and products.”
Member for Wagga Wagga Joe McGirr said the rail connection would service the future intermodal hub, allowing the safe transfer of freight containers between the road and rail development and adjoining industrial land development.
“Rail freight is the most cost-effective way to transport large quantities over long distances, with one 1,200-metre-long train carrying the equivalent load of more than 134 trucks,” Dr McGirr said.
Member of the Legislative Council Wes Fang said the hub was expected to be completed in late 2022.
“We are confident a connection of the terminal to the main Southern Railway will encourage a shift of freight and produce from road to rail, giving local roads back to the local community,” Mr Fang said.
Work is continuing on the third stage, including completing the $29.2 million 60-hectare Bomen Industrial Precinct and the terminal services, funded by the NSW Government’s Growing Regional Economies program and Wagga Wagga City Council.
Wagga Wagga City Council General Manager Peter Thompson said the Riverina and Murray were important regions for the state’s economy, accounting for more than 12 percent of agricultural production in NSW.
“Developing the RiFL Hub will generate up to 6,000 jobs in this region, and has the potential to drive the economic future of the city for decades,” Mr Thompson said.
“Wagga Wagga is the largest inland city in NSW supporting a diverse range of industries including dairy, food and meat processing.
“The intermodal hub will be located centrally between Melbourne and Sydney, with Visy Logistics starting operations at the RiFL Hub terminal during 2022.
“The new rail freight connections will improve the import and export of local produce to the rest of the country and the world.”
The completion of stage two complements the improvements to heavy vehicle road access in the area completed in 2017 as part of first stage of the project as well as the $10 million Eunony Bridge replacement project, completed in September 2020 funded under the NSW Government’s Fixing Country Roads program and Australian Government’s Bridges Renewal Program.