WA-owned and operated rail transport and logistics company Intermodal Group, the sole operator of the North Quay Rail Terminal (NQRT) is pleased to announce today the official opening of the NQRT extension.
The expanded terminal was launched by the Federal Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development, Warren Truss, and the WA Minister for Transport, Dean Nalder.
The project was one part of a $38.4 million investment into rail, jointly funded by the Australian and Western Australian governments. The terminal is due to be completed within days.
The project extended the rail terminal from 400 metres to 690 metres, including three new turn-outs, and relocated terminal buffer. It also upgraded various terminal infrastructure including the fumigation area, maintenance/wash-down buildings and container storage area.
The extension has doubled the rail holding capacity of the NQRT. The terminal is now able to hold three trains carrying 90 containers each, helping to further reduce port-related truck traffic and increase the efficiency and capability of Intermodal’s service.
The second rail project to receive government backing was the construction of a crossing loop at Spearwood that enables freight trains to pass on the rail line that connects the port with the Kewdale/Forrestfield area. This is also increasing efficiency and capacity by accommodating more freight train movements during the day and minimising service delays.
Darrin Smith, General Manager, Intermodal Group said: “We’re very pleased that the state and federal governments are recognising the importance of rail infrastructure in improving productivity and creating cleaner, safer communities.
“Rail is very cost effective for moving bulk volumes – it facilitates a greater number of containers to be moved in one transit and eliminates both congestion and waiting time at the wharf.
“The NQRT extension has further increased the efficiencies of the Forrestfield and Kwinana lines by improving access for container transfer and enabling shorter turnaround times.
“It makes the rail services even more competitive as a means of transporting containers to and from Rous Head.
“From a community and environmental perspective, it reduces the number of trucks on our roads and traffic congestion, which means cleaner, safer, better functioning communities,” he said.
Despite the major NQRT extension works being undertaken in recent months, Intermodal Group has delivered strong levels of container processing and set a record in May when it processed more than 10,000 containers for both import and export for the month – the highest volume it has recorded since it commenced operations at NQRT in 2007.
Mr Smith said processing volumes at NQRT had been boosted by stronger agricultural exports and looked set to continue based on current trends.
Intermodal’s strong performance has also resulted from a number of initiatives implemented by the Group to increase rail transport of containers to Fremantle, including a focus on container hire and de-hire through its Intermodal Container Services (ICS) division. ICS operates the largest inland empty container park in WA which is co-located at the Group’s Forrestfield Terminal site.
Rail now has a 14 per cent share of the container movements to and from the port, up from just 2 per cent in 2002. Intermodal’s integrated rail supply chain currently saves over 101,700 truck trips a year in the Fremantle precinct.