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First GrainCorp train runs on Narrabri to North Star line

The first GrainCorp train has run on the Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of Inland Rail to load canola from the GrainCorp silos in Croppa Creek, around sixty kilometres northeast of Moree.

The Pacific National train loaded up to 55 tonnes of canola into each of its 48 wagons at the Croppa Creek GrainCorp site, carrying a total of approximately 2600 tonnes of product, and is the first of a dozen trains that will be loaded out of Croppa Creek in the next month.

The canola was transported to the Port of Newcastle from where it would be sent on to Europe.

Transporting this volume of canola by road would have required fifty B-double trucks driving across New South Wales roads, increasing transport carbon emissions.

The N2NS project started construction back in 2021 and major construction on Phase 1 of the project was completed in October last year.

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The N2NS Phase 1 project included upgrading 176 km of track along the existing rail corridor. Inland Rail also completed upgrades to seven bridges, enhanced safety at 57 level crossings with 10 passive level crossings upgraded to active with bells, lights, and boom gates, and has improved telecommunications for local communities.

The upgrades deliver a more efficient and reliable line for local producers, boosting resilience against extreme weather events, with the track withstanding the worst flood in a decade to hit Moree in 2022.

Phase 2 of the N2NS project, which involves further upgrades and building 2km of new track north of Moree, is currently in approvals with Inland Rail now preparing a Preferred Infrastructure Report and a Response to Submissions for the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure.

Inland Rail project director Narrabri to North Star Peter Borrelli said it is a great moment to see the first GrainCorp train using the upgraded line.

“Delivering the N2NS Phase 1 project was always about building a better, safer, and more resilient rail line that would create new opportunities for primary producers in regional Australia and this milestone is evidence of that,” Borrelli said.

“The Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project brought with it an economic boost to communities in northwest New South Wales, and we are looking forward to seeing more regional benefits in coming years with construction between Parkes and Albury prioritised for completion by 2027.

“Inland Rail will enhance our national freight and supply chain capabilities, connecting existing freight routes through rail, roads, and ports and supporting Australia’s growth.”

GrainCorp area manager – Moree North Cluster Mick Grant said Inland Rail’s upgrades to the rail line and the siding at Croppa Creek have enabled a safe and efficient transport of a bumper canola harvest from the organisation’s facility to the Port of Newcastle.

“We are proud to do our part utilising Inland Rail to reduce the carbon emissions of Australia’s freight industry – with each of our grain trains getting the equivalent freight volume of 50 B-double trucks off New South Wales roads,” Grant said.

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