TRAIN steaming up
MOMENTUM for the Trans Regional Amalgamated Infrastructure Network (TRAIN) project, which includes a passage through Grafton, is growing following the lodgement of a development application to build a $12.7 million rail terminal at Casino last week.
If approved by Richmond Valley Council, the Summerdowns Rail Terminal Project will open up the connection from Northern NSW to South-East Queensland and help establish Casino as an industrial hub for the future.
Dave Cooke is the director of Nation Building Australia which is developing the TRAIN concept by coordinating what he describes as the ‘big picture’ of the region’s transport needs.
He said the Casino terminal was an important piece of the ‘regional development jigsaw puzzle’ and a great example of the type of development that could be expected along the corridor.
The terminal will connect to the Sydney-Brisbane Interstate standard gauge rail line at Casino.
The TRAIN concept aims to upgrade existing rail and road infrastructure from Coffs Harbour to Bromelton (in South-East Queensland), Lismore to Warwick and take freight off the congested Pacific Highway by diverting trucks inland.
“It’s all about creating a sustainable corridor that will allow B-doubles direct access from Coffs Harbour to the proposed inland port at Bromelton and through to the Port of Brisbane,” Mr Cooke said.
“This will increase freight efficiency, reduce trucking drive times, improve road safety and most importantly help in rebuilding Australia’s economy.”
Support for the cross-border project, estimated to cost about $1.5 billion, is growing nationally among local, state and federal government and business leaders, Mr Cooke said.
“The Rudd Government is investing $35.8 billion on road and rail infrastructure through its Nation Building Program over the six-year period from 2008-09 to 2013-14. It is critical that these infrastructure projects identified by TRAIN are put on the national agenda,” he said.
“Ultimately, it is not about us, it’s about our kids and their kids’ future.”
Transport icon Lindsay Fox provided strong support for the TRAIN concept in a speech at the Australian Logistics Councils’ Annual Forum in Sydney earlier this month.