What a year and a journey it has been in relation to SCT’s entry onto the North South rail corridor with our first train arriving into our less than fully completed Bromelton facility in late January.
The inaugural rail journey which departed Melbourne on the 21st of January this year included a number of senior managers from within the company including group CEO Glenn Smith. Collectively, it was a significant step for SCT having invested in excess of $100 million on new Rail Intermodal Terminals at both Wodonga and Bromelton and two new train sets providing four scheduled rail services per week. The joint effort across the SCT Group and our management team in bringing this project to fruition within 12 months has possibly been one of our company’s greatest achievements. Having been given 12 months’ notice by SCT’s then 3rd Party rail provider that they would cease hauling SCT’s rail vans, the Senior management group took the decision and accepted the challenge that we would replace those services with our own within that tim
e frame. There were a number of challenges and obstacles that were overcome in achieving our objectives. Some of these included the significant capital required as well as the short lead time for the procurement of trainsets, rolling stock, terminals, train paths and accreditation, through the Sydney network and tripling our existing freight volumes in order to fill our services. Whilst all these tasks provided challenges, undoubtedly the greatest obstacle involved the design and construction of a major rail freight centre at Bromelton, within 12 months. Design plans, planning permits, a 300 metre-long warehouse transit facility, 7 kilometres of rail track, main line connections, signalling and intermodal containers pads were required to receive that first train.
As the inaugural train approached the Queensland border, our contractor partners were still busy laying track and completing mainline connections only hours before the train’s arrival. With the support of many including the local authorities, State and Federal governments, rail industry bodies including the ARTC and contractor partners as well as the relentless effort of the SCT team, we were able to receive our first train into Bromelton on the 21st of January. We are pleased to say that things have run somewhat smoother since the initial days and our volumes continue to grow with SCT having added a fifth service for our peak October to December period. For those who might be interested we’d encourage you to visit our website and watch our documentary video of SCT’s first Melbourne to Brisbane rail service.