ON TRACK: The Summerdown rail terminal in Casino will represent the future of freight in Australia if council passes a $10 million development application.
ON TRACK: The Summerdown rail terminal in Casino will represent the future of freight in Australia if council passes a $10 million development application.

Casino set for railway revolution

CASINO is on the cusp of a railway renaissance, with a development application to build a $10 million rail terminal about to be lodged with the Richmond Valley Council.

Developer John McMahon, of Casino, will lodge the DA this week and hopes the terminal, which promises to reduce road freight by 150 trucks per day, will be built by the end of 2010.

“The finance is approved; we just need to get the DA approved,” Mr McMahon said

The Summerdown rail terminal will be built on land next to the Casino Saleyards.

It will connect to the main rail line and from there freight will travel to destinations and ports around Australia.

With the capacity to load two 750m long trains or a single 1550m train, it is expected one short train will depart for Brisbane daily and one long train will head southward to Sydney or Melbourne every two to three days.

Phillip Imrie, the Sydney-based engineer behind the proposal, said the terminal represented the future of freight in Australia.

“This is the way America has moved,” he said.

An industrial estate will form part of the terminal. From there, businesses will be able to load goods directly onto waiting trains.

The Casino branch of the stockfeed company Riverina currently brings in more than 100,000 tonnes of grain and protein from Northern NSW and South-East Queensland every year by road.

“A facility such as this would give us access to southern grain markets which are currently cost prohibitive by road,” branch manager Col Shelton said.

Stage one of the terminal will employ 10 to 20 people on a full-time basis, although more will be working during the construction phase.

Mr Imrie said the terminal was likely to attract new businesses to Casino and this would bring more jobs.

Richmond Valley Council general manager Brian Wilkinson said the council was very keen to see the proposal go ahead and supported the overall concept.



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