First GrainCorp grain train runs on Narrabri to North Star line

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 2,600 tonnes of product. It 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 50 B-double trucks driving across New South Wales, increasing transport carbon emissions.

Residents in the region are advised that with commercial trains now accessing the line North of Moree, once again all road users are reminded to look out for trains at level crossings.

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

The Narrabri to North Star Phase 1 project included upgrading 176km 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.

Regional communities in northwest New South Wales received an economic boost from the project, with $244 million spent with 137 local businesses, including nearly $9 million spent with First Nations businesses. Over 2,000 people worked on the project, including 678 locals.

Phase 2 of the Narrabri to North Star 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.

Once Phase 2 is completed, the upgraded track between Narrabri and North Star will allow freight customers to transport heavier freight volumes at higher speeds through its access to the Australian Rail Track Corporation Hunter Valley Rail Network, boosting their productivity and efficiency.

Peter Borrelli, Inland Rail Project Director Narrabri to North Star, said:

“It is a great moment for us to see the first GrainCorp train using the upgraded line to access their facility at Croppa Creek.

“Delivering the Narrabri to North Star 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.

“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.”

Mick Grant, GrainCorp Area Manager – Moree North Cluster, 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 our 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.”

/Public Release. View in full here.