FOR the first time in more than six years a GrainCorp train has been able to use the Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail, north of Moree, to deliver canola to the Port of Newcastle.  

The Pacific National train loaded up 2600 tonnes of canola into 48 wagons at the Croppa Creek GrainCorp site so it could be sent on to Europe from the Port of Newcastle. 

It was the first of a dozen trains that will be loaded out of Croppa Creek in the next month. 

If the 2600 tonnes of canola were transported to Port of Newcastle by road, 50 B-Double trucks would have needed to drive across New South Wales.

ARTC Inland Rail said the upgrades have helped deliver a more efficient and reliable line for local producers. 

Phase one of the Narrabri to North Star project began in 2021, with major construction wrapping up in October 2023.

ARTC Inland Rail said the line has been resilient against extreme weather events; in 2022 the track withstood the worst flood to hit Moree in a decade.  

Phase two of the Narrabri to North Star project will involve further upgrades along with building two kilometres of new track north of Moree. 

It’s currently in approvals with Inland Rail preparing a preferred infrastructure report and a response to submissions for the NSW Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure. 

If phase two 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. 

It should further boost productivity and efficiency. 

Inland Rail Project director Narrabri to North Star Peter Borrelli was glad to see the first GrainCorp train using the upgraded line to access their facility at Croppa Creek. 

“Delivering the Narrabri to North Star phase one 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,” Mr Borrelli said.

“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.”