A grain train over a mile long broke a record in Australia on Dec. 3 for being the longest-ever grain train in the country.
The train measures at 1.3 kilometers long, two and one half times longer than the usual trains used for this purpose. It traveled from the town of Narrabri across north-western New South Wales, a state on the southeastern coast of Australia, carrying 5,000 metric tons of wheat. It’s made up of 73 individual cars and five locomotives.
Why is this train so huge? It’s expected to cut costs on transportation of the grain, which was delivered to a port in Newcastle, where it was intended be exported to Southeast Asia. Once there, it was unloaded on a continuous looping track at a specialized terminal. It took more than six years to plan the train, in an initiative spurred by the Newcastle Agri Terminal.
A video acquired by the BBC was shot with drones, showing the length of the yellow train in a view from above.
Warren Truss, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, said in a press release that running longer, fewer trains could save Australian grain producers between $5 and $10 per tonne when the savings filter down from the transport system.
“The size of this train more than doubles the payload capacity of the standard grain train that currently runs through the Hunter Valley network. In simple terms, the increase in payload means at least a $5 to $10 a [metric ton] reduction in hard costs for the grower—a massive saving,” he said.
This might be the first of many similarly lengthy convoys.
“While today’s train service is one of two heavy trains to run this grain season, we believe there is opportunity to run many more similar heavier train services in future harvests,” said John Fullerton, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Rail Track Corporation.
Filed Under: Infrastructure