The longest grain train in the history of the Australian Rail Track Corporation network was loaded at Crystal Brook this week, the wheat bound for the drought-stricken north-east.
A total of 6228 tonnes of locally grown Australian Standard White wheat was loaded into 101 wagons, on a train measuring 1.8 kilometres in length.
Site manager David Arbon said it was a massive couple of days for the local site team and they had to “pull out all the stops”.
“On the first day, using one rail bin, we loaded 72 wagons in six hours at a loading rate of 450t an hour,” he said.
The train arrived at the Cargill GrainFlow site Crystal Brook at 8.30am on Tuesday and departed on the Wednesday evening.
The longest train I’ve ever filled at this site was 58 wagons, so to see this was pretty mind-boggling actually, it was awesome.
GrainFlow regional operations assistant Bianca Schuller has been at the Crystal Brook site for eight years and manned the silo for the delivery.
Ms Schuller was alerted to the significance of the trains by a couple of excited trainspotters who popped into the office.
“When it arrived on site, I could still see it over a kilometre away,” she said.
“The longest train I’ve ever filled at this site was 58 wagons, so to see this was pretty mind-boggling actually, it was awesome.”
It is believed the previous record on the ARTC network was 73 wagons in 2015 in northern NSW, measuring 1.3km.
Ms Schuller said the company was so impressed with the efficiency of the loading that another train, believed to be of similar length, had been booked for July 9.
With so much going out, it has freed up plenty of space for the coming harvest, which Ms Schuller said is exactly what we need.
“The more we can get rid of, the more we can receive without having to add any more infrastructure,” she said.
Mr Arbon said the local team was proud to be a part of the record.
“It’s our local farmers wheat that was delivered to our site that is going into those wagons so it is great to see it headed off to market,” he said.
The train was loaded for Arrow Commodities on a Southern Short-Haul Rail train and is bound for Newcastle, NSW, and Moree, NSW.
It shows a shift in feed stocks from southern Australia to drought-affected regions further north.