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State Govt adds support for rail to move freight

Posted On February 5, 2013

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

  • $15.5m subsidy promotes long-term continuation of rail freight to Fremantle
  • 12% increase in rail container freight to port under Liberal National Government

The Liberal National Government has committed further support to promote increased use of rail for transporting container freight to and from Fremantle Port.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell today announced the State Government had approved the continuation of the rail subsidy until 2016-17 at a cost of $15.5million.

“Rail is playing a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in Fremantle Port’s supply chain while reducing the impacts of truck traffic on the community,” Mr Buswell said.

“The State Government remains strongly committed to increasing the rail share for container trade as a central strategy in securing the long term future of the Inner Harbour.

A key strategy is to increase the amount of freight moved by rail to relieve pressure on roads and alleviate community impacts.

By reducing reliance on road transport, rail services also contribute significantly to trade growth capacity by improving supply chain efficiency through reducing truck congestion at the port.

“Transporting more containers on rail is taking pressure off the road system, with the State Government’s financial support assisting rail to be more price-competitive with road transport across short haul distances,” the Minister said.

Rail accounts for about 14 per cent of the total number of containers transported through the port. With this increased use of rail for transporting container freight and with more trucks picking up empty containers from Forrestfield rather than at Fremantle, there are an estimated 100,000 fewer truck movements annually on roads linking with the port.

The proposed lengthening of the North Quay Rail Terminal, with joint State and Federal funding, is another key strategy to develop rail services as an alternative to road transport. Enabling the terminal to handle longer trains will further increase rail operations’ efficiency.

Other projects planned to improve the rail link include increasing the capacity of the rail terminal at Kewdale/Forrestfield where a large proportion of the container freight operations are located; and construction of a train-passing site at Spearwood, which will enable greater flexibility in train paths and provide more alternatives to cater for service disruptions.

Fact File

  • In 2002, about 2% of containers shipped to Fremantle transported to/from port by rail
  • Rail’s market share of container freight since risen to about 14% towards target of 30%
  • Liberal National Government has invested in building better roads to support our growing population and reduce congestion, including: $194m for Gateway WA, including Tonkin Highway, Leach Highway to Roe Highway. This was matched by Federal Govt to bring project total to $388m

Source: ProjectLink.com.au

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