GENERAL cargo vessel AAL Hong Kong arrived at the port on 5 July carrying two Waratah Series 2 trains, each comprising eight carriages. The cargo was able to take advantage of the port’s direct connections to the New South Wales heavy freight and passenger rail networks.

The trains were unloaded by crane and placed directly onto the rail before being towed by locomotive to Cardiff, where Downer will prepare them for introduction to the Sydney passenger network.

The delicate operation – jointly co-ordinated by Port of Newcastle, Newcastle Stevedores, Downer and Rhenus Logistics – will be replicated again over the next eight months as a further 15 trains arrive.

Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody said this was yet another example of the organisation providing the most efficient logistics solution.

“Newcastle has a key advantage in being able to unload this type of rolling stock cargo directly onto rail lines immediately next to the ship, without the need for any unnecessary truck movements,” he said.

“We continue to work closely with customers and service providers across a range of industries to deliver the smoothest and most efficient supply chain for their cargo, particularly where it makes use of the Hunter’s enviable rail network.

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“This type of port trade is consistent with our diversification strategy to broaden the mix of cargo handled and help ensure the Hunter Region’s long-term prosperity.”

The Sydney Growth Trains project is being delivered by Downer as part of the NSW Government’s $1.5bn ‘More Trains, More Services’ program.

In late 2018, Downer successfully completed the first stage of the project, delivering 24 new eight-car trains onto Sydney’s passenger rail network. The second stage involves a further 17 trains being added to the network by early 2021.

The next shipment of trains is due to dock in Port of Newcastle in early August.

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