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First sod turned on Pacific National’s St Marys Freight Hub

Construction has begun on Pacific National’s St Marys intermodal terminal, which, when complete, will enable rail freight to reach a mode share of 25 per cent of all containers handled at Port Botany.

Speaking at a sod-turning to mark the launch of construction, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres said that the site would have a positive impact on the broader region, and utilise existing rail infrastructure.

“The best thing about this facility is it will take 80,000 truck movements off our roads. It’ll mean that we can use trains more effectively and get products closer to where the consumer is and also ensure that those truck movements are shorter,” he said.

“That’s better for local communities, it’s better for local businesses, and it’s better for freight movements as well. This is exactly what the public want from government and industry working closely together.”

The St Marys site is strategically located close to Western Sydney-based logistics and distribution centres, and five port shuttle trains will run per day, making rail a competitive option for Western Sydney businesses importing goods from Port Botany.

The combined investment of up to $100m on behalf of Pacific National and container logistics operator ACFS will create 60 jobs during construction and 175 jobs during operation.

Phase one of the project, covering 10-hectares of the 43-hectare site, is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2021.

Phase one will include seven hectares of intermodal terminal and three hectares for an empty shipping container park, unlocking crippling congestion in Port Botany due to an oversupply of empty containers.

Construction work includes building the hardstand and pavement areas, upgrading the rail siding, the creation of internal access roads, as well as operation buildings, facilities and parking.

Further phases will enable St Marys to become a key link in the wider Pacific National intermodal network, with connections to Parkes for regional NSW-based exporters.

ACFS Port Logistics managing director and CEO Arthur Tzaneros said that St Marys would be a catalyst for a reframing of the intra-Sydney supply chain.

“There are enormous opportunities to unlock the full potential of the Hub with future development of the site to enable unpacking of containers onsite, storage of goods, and then rapid distribution for B2B and e-Commerce. The opportunities are unparalleled in Western Sydney.”

Throughout planning and into construction, the facility has had the support of the local area, said project director Leigh Cook.

“The community is right behind this project.”

Published by Rail Express on 15 December 2020