New rail service a boost for Riverina

THE equivalent of 250 semi-trailers will be taken off the Hume Highway when a new Riverina to Sydney rail freight service steams into service this week.Regional Rail Logistics inaugural load will leave the Junee Roundhouse at noon on Friday and the company will run a 25-wagon freight service out of Junee and Cootamundra three times a week.According to the company, dedicated Riverina to Sydney rail freight services have been in the doldrums since 2002, forcing the region’s exporters to shift their goods by road or arrange to hook onto trains passing through from Victoria. “We saw huge latent demand in the market for a regular bulky goods service out of the Riverina into Sydney and got cracking,” general manager Steve Tzaneros said.“We have teamed up with Melbourne company El Zorro, which already uses Junee as a base for its locomotives, wagons and staff, and will be loading at regional terminals at Junee, Cootamundra and Bomen and has negotiated critical slot times at Port Botany for delivery at that end.”Mr Tzaneros said the big winners would be Riverina communities.“This is absolutely a fantastic result for the companies and towns involved and for Riverina exporters,” he said. “By bringing competition into the market, this service will offer primary producers, traders and bulk goods producers significantly more transport choices. “There will be extra work in the loading yards and more locomotives to be serviced and maintained at Junee Railway Workshop.”