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Port’s passenger delivery right on track

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Newcastle waterways have been used to welcome some precious passenger cargo this month.

Through its hub, the Port of Newcastle took temporary ownership of the first shipment of new passenger trains for the Sydney network last week.

General cargo vessel AAL Hong Kong arrived at the port earlier this month carrying two Waratah Series 2 trains, each comprising eight carriages.

Unloaded by crane, the trains were then placed directly onto the rail tracks before being towed by locomotive to Cardiff, where maintenance group Downer will prepare them for introduction to the Sydney passenger network.

The shipment was the first of a series of 16 trains to be delivered to the port over the next eight months.

Port of Newcastle Chief Executive Craig Carmody said the city’s infrastructure meant it was an ideal candidate for the delivery.

“Newcastle has a key advantage in being able to unload this type of rolling stock cargo directly onto rail lines immediately next to the ship, without the need for any unnecessary truck movements,” he said.

“This type of port trade is consistent with our diversification strategy to broaden the mix of cargo handled and help ensure the Hunter Region’s long-term prosperity.

 “The Sydney Growth Trains project is being delivered by Downer as part of the NSW Government’s $4.3 billion ‘More Trains, More Services program.”

The first shipment of new passenger trains for the Sydney network arrived at Port of Newcastle, taking advantage of the port’s direct connections to the New South Wales heavy freight and passenger rail networks.

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In late 2018, Downer successfully completed the first stage of the project, delivering 24 new eight-car trains onto Sydney’s passenger rail network. The second stage involves a further 17 trains being added to the network by early 2021. 

The next shipment of trains is due to dock in Port of Newcastle in early August. 

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