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Rail hub steaming ahead

Colin Rees Group’s Ettamogah Rail Hub. A Similar development will occur at Widgelli.A construction company has been appointed to develop the Widgelli Rail Hub.

Vaughan Constructions will master-plan and develop the hub and a business park for the Colin Rees Group and Amberly Management, owned by Griffith’s Morshead family.The company will also undertake similar work at theEttamogah Rail Hub,15 kilometres north of Albury on the Hume Hwy.

The Widgelli Rail Hub andBusiness Park is situated on a 68-hectare site owned by the Morshead family. The first 30-hectarestageof development at Widgelli will include the design and construction of a new rail hub, railsidings and over 100,000 square metres of warehouse space, hardstands and road networks; a construction value in excess of $80 million.

The Widgelli Rail Hubreceived town planning approvalin August last year. The Business Park will offerboth ‘prelease’ and land and building packages for warehouse and cold storagebuildings ranging from 2 500 square metresto 20,000 square metresin addition to container-rated hardstands.

Cameron Jackson, chief operating officer for the Colin Rees Group, said there was a large variety of potential users so the hub had to be flexible.

“We know that production costs have been squeezedto breaking point, so the focus of many producers, processors, retailers and exporters isthe supply chain,” Mr Jackson said.“We saw a definite gap in the market, so we’ve teamed up with the Morsheadsand Vaughans and we’re able to offer ‘short-line’ rail services in addition to conventionalwarehouse, cold storage and distribution facilities to our customers. Our ‘regional connect’ network can get your box from anywhere in the Riverina to any eastern seaboard port andeven Perth via the Junee or Cootamundra connections.”

Mr Jackson said short-line rail had led to the revival of rail transport in the United States by providingthebenefits from economies of scale to individual customers.

The first of two major stages at Widgelli are expected to be built inthe next two years. It is expected rentsand rates will be released later this month.

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