A first freight route from Wodonga to Adelaide will be among the ambitions for the new rail hub at Barnawartha.
The 23-hectare Wodonga Intermodal Park, set to be operational by the end of the year, will be the seventh major depot for transport and logistics company SCT.
Managing director Geoff Smith said new rail services would be operating between Melbourne and Brisbane from January.
“The Wodonga intermodal terminal we will be providing direct connection to our interstate markets,” he told The Border Mail.
“We’ll also now run rail services between Wodonga and Adelaide, something we haven’t been able to offer in the past. “The introduction of the inland rail line on Australia’s east coast would further expand our options.”
ARTC chief executive John Fullerton said much of $594 million in the federal budget for an inland rail project was for land acquisition.
Mr Fullerton disagreed with concerns from the Border Rail Action Group that existing tracks proposed to be absorbed into the inland rail route would not suitably cater to added freight demands.
“We’ve worked with local communities to try and explain what we are doing with our ballast rehabilitation program to give them the confidence we’re committed to fixing the problem,” he said.
“We’ve got to continue working closely with local communities.
“With this logic terminal … we’ll be able to take advantage of that when inland rail is built.”
Indigo Shire mayor James Trenery said there were valuable opportunities for small businesses in the terminal’s offerings of export container handling, warehousing and port shuttle services.
“For smaller places to utilise the markets that are in Brisbane, overseas or Western Australia is pretty hard to do right now, so that will assist smaller businesses to increase their profits,” he said.