Grain traffic testing Wheatbelt roads after railway services close


ABC Premium News (Australia)

A shire in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia says its roads are barely coping with additional truck traffic after the closure of Tier 3 railway lines.

At the end of last month a number of Tier 3 lines in Western Australia were placed into care and maintenance by rail operator Brookfield Rail.

However in October last year the Quairading to York and Merredin to Trayning lines closed.

Tier 3 lines transportgrain from up-country receival sites to port. Grain that was transported by rail will be placed on the road.

Quairading shire president Darryl Richards says much of the grain delivered to Quairading over the harvest period was stored on site and is now being trucked to Cunderdin and then put on rail.

He says approximately 1,500 to 1,700 tonnes of grain is being moved on the Quairading to Cunderdin Road six days a week over a period of about 23 weeks.

This is the first carting period without grain being transported from Quairading via Tier 3 rail.

The shires of Quairading and Cunderdin have been working on the road linking the two towns, however Mr Richards says these works are approximately 18 months off completion.

"There are sections of the strip widening, which is the new works we have done, there's one just north of Quairading townsite, it's broken up a section six to 10 metres long and virtually the width of the dual tyres of the trucks and trailers, that has broken up and I expect as time goes on it will break up further," he says.

He says the road contains several dangerous sweeping bends which the shire is managing.

"We actually had a truck roll over about five weeks ago, a trailer rolled over on one of the bad S bends. Luckily no one was hurt, but since then we've had to take measures to reduce the speed limits on some of these corners for road safety for all users, not just the trucking contractors."

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