The multimillion dollar Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RiFL) Hub, a core feature of the Wagga Wagga Special Activation Precinct, officially opened this week and is set to increase freight capacity and economic growth for the region.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads The Hon. Sam Farraway and Visy Logistics Country Manager Mr Lee Schmelich officially declared the rail and road facility open on Thursday (1 December).
The RiFL Hub includes a nearly five-kilometre master rail siding, funded by the NSW Government and a connecting 500-kilometre intermodal terminal on the Main Southern Railway, co-funded by Wagga Wagga City Council and Visy Logistics.
Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Dallas Tout said the successful delivery of the large-scale project was a testament to the hard work of all the teams involved.
“Around 130 jobs were supported during construction of the RiFL Hub, which required more than 100,000 cubic metres of dirt to be moved to build the siding and over one million pavers to surface the terminal,” Cr Tout said.
“The benefits of the RiFL Hub flow to the Wagga Wagga LGA, the region as a whole and in fact southern NSW. It will prove a catalyst for freight movements and is a once in a generation opportunity.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said the RiFL is positioned to become a dynamic operations centre for freight operators.
“The 4.9 kilometre rail siding will be a game changer for the rail freight industry, allowing for longer trains with the capacity to securely load and unload without holding up other services,” Mr Farraway said.
“These trains can carry loads the equivalent of 134 semi-trailer trucks, reducing the number of rigs on Riverina roads and allowing freight to move efficiently across the state.
“The $14.4 million siding is also connected to the ARTC loop line, providing rail freight operators the flexibility to send trains from the region north to Sydney or south to Melbourne.
“We know the Riverina and Murray accounts for 12 per cent of the state’s agricultural output and are important contributors to our economy. That’s why we are improving freight linkages to secure a brighter future for our state.”
Visy Logistics will carry out operations at the RiFL Hub as an open access terminal and provide logistics solutions and services to businesses across the Riverina.
Visy Logistics Country Manager Mr Lee Schmelich said Visy was proud to partner with Wagga Wagga City Council and the NSW Government on this transformational project.
“RiFL will turbocharge local agriculture and industry by making it easier to get local products from the Riverina to customers across the country and the world.” Mr Schmelich said.
The completed RiFL Hub project, including the Bomen Enterprise Area – services and subdivision, has been funded by the NSW Government through the Fixing Country Rail program and Growing Local Economies fund, Wagga Wagga City Council and Visy Logistics.