Rail Planning on track

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Train in Port Kembla Harbour

Work to develop a rail simulation model to better understand the capacity and capability of the rail network serving the port is currently underway.

Being undertaken by the University of Wollongong's SMART Infrastructure facility and the CSIRO, the project will examine the supply chain of bulk products such as steel, grain and coal - to the port of Port Kembla, including how the existing rail network can support a possible future expansion of the port. The project will also identify potential bottlenecks in the rail network and opportunities for improvement.

The research will focus on issues such as future demand on train lines, passenger and freight trains sharing the same tracks, and the interconnection of the Illawarra and Sydney rail networks.

Participants to the study include Port Kembla Coal Terminal, BlueScope Steel, Pacific National and PKPC as the project manager. Wollongong Council is also a minor contributor to the work.

Supporting this study is development of the Outer Harbour Rail Master Plan. The objective of this plan is to investigate, analyse and recommend the optimum rail layout in the Outer Harbour to service the potential growth in bulk trades and containers.

The plan, to tie in with the Outer Harbour Master Plan, will investigate ways in which the port can most efficiently utilise the rail network within the port.

Ownership of all major rail assets in the port ensures that rail is given a high priority in the consideration of the port’s future transport requirements. The master plan contributes to the PKPC vision of providing integrated logistics solutions within the port and to encourage modal shift where practical from road to rail.

It is expected that the plan will be discussed with key stakeholders in the second half of 2011.

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