Rail service targets trucks

A NEW rail freight service running out of Freo port could mean 21,000 fewer truck trips per year on WA roads.

Launched last month by Pacific National, the new service will run between Freo Port and the Kewdale freight terminal. So far the line has only seen a trial run, but the shuttle could transport up to 26,000 containers per year, equivalent to 21,666 truck journeys.

Most of the freight currently making this journey does so in 60-tonne trucks via the Leach and Roe highways. Pacific National CEO Dean Dalle Valle argues that things have to change.

“Trucks play an important role in transporting freight the ‘first and last mile’ between rail terminals and supermarkets and warehouses,” Mr Dalle Valle said. 

“However, trucks shouldn’t be doing every mile of the freight task to and from port.”

Transport Worker’s Union (TWU) state secretary Tim Dawson disagrees. 

“Trucks certainly aren’t just useful for the first and last mile. Rail is great for some of the long distance journeys over the country, but there are places that rail doesn’t go. For transport from port to suburbs, trucks are better,” he told the Herald. 

“The preference of the TWU would be to improve the road freight network, and to spend more money on the network out of Freo – we’ve always been in favour of building ROE 8.”

by LOTTIE ELTON

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