THE INTERSTATE Terminal at the Moorebank Intermodal Precinct opened on Thursday (4 April) with the arrival of the first interstate train.

The Interstate Terminal, located in southwestern Sydney, will support the transfer of freight between services, including regional containers on their way to Port Botany. The terminal is designed with capacity to handle 500,000 TEU annually, with each train coming through the terminal able to move 1500 tonnes of freight.

The terminal is being developed as a joint venture between National Intermodal – a corporation owned by the Australian government – and Qube Holdings and LOGOS.

Qube welcomed the very first train earlier this year as part of a trial; it transported six containers through the terminal ahead of the official opening on 4 April.

But the new terminal will be Australia’s first metropolitan “independent” interstate terminal, the government has noted. It will operate under an open access arrangement and not be controlled by a single existing rail operator.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who was present for the official opening ceremony, said the opening of the terminal is a major milestone in the development of the broader Moorebank precinct. He expects it to improve the efficiency of supply chains.

“The Moorebank Intermodal Precinct demonstrates how government leadership and co-investment with industry can deliver world class infrastructure assets resulting in significant value for future generations,” he said.

Federal minister for infrastructure and transport Catherine King noted the new terminal connects the Moorebank precinct to the interstate road and rail network, including the future Inland Rail project.

“The Interstate Terminal is the cornerstone of the Moorebank Intermodal Precinct, providing for the servicing of trains up to 1800-metres-long, directly adjacent to modern warehouse facilities and last mile delivery services,” she said.

National Intermodal CEO James Baulderstone said the open access arrangement would drive competition and deliver cost savings to end users.

“The precinct’s scale also provides the platform and location for major renewable energy generation, enabling warehouse owners and last mile delivery transport companies to reach their net zero ambitions,” he said.

And Qube Holdings managing director Paul Digney said the Interstate Rail Terminal complements Qube’s Import and Export (IMEX) Terminal, which would “revolutionise freight efficiencies” between capital cities and strengthen supply linkages for customers to warehousing and Port Botany.

“This is an exciting day for Qube and for our project partners LOGOS, John Holland Group, Mainland Civil and Vaughan Civil,’ Mr Digney said.

“The delivery of this critical new asset will play a significant role in boosting rail’s share of freight, which is currently is only 11% across the eastern seaboard.

“Getting more freight off the road and onto rail will be key to achieving Australia’s emissions reduction targets, especially given rail freight generates 16 times less carbon pollution than road, and this new Interstate Rail Terminal at Moorebank will be a key enabler in that transition.”

When complete, the industrial precinct at Moorebank would house more than 850,000 square meters of modern industrial warehouses. It would also have Australia’s largest rooftop solar installation with the capacity to generate over 100 megawatts of renewable energy.