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Two Victorian farmers have spoken about a plan to build a 300-acre inland rail network at Bridgewater on Loddon to revolutionise the freight industry.
The plan, if it became reality, would feature as many as 20 terminals and open trade in the region while also becoming the largest inland rail freight and container port in the southern hemisphere.
Former Loddon Shire councillor and rail freight network employee Colleen Condliffe is teaming up with farmer Carly Noble to work on a feasibility study and financial plan, with the goal being to create a privately owned freight hub with shareholders.
Condliffe and Noble told the ABC that the freight terminal plan would cover 26 industries to enable domestic and international trade deals and would realise a dream to establish a local rail network through Bridgewater on Loddon.
"We want to upgrade the line, which opens up a line for general passengers and residents to get into Bendigo for shopping or to go to the hospital," Noble says.
With a five-way crossing that could be used to connect major road infrastructure networks that come in and out of the area, the pair are hoping for renewed funding for regional rail networks across the state to help boost the potential of this long-term proposal.
Instead of allowing one company to control the proposed inland port, both Noble and Condliffe wants the idea to remain as a fair freight network hub that allows everyone to have a say.
If this happens, then the pair both say the area around Bridgewater on Loddon could experience major growth in the coming years.
"You could also have a huge amount of long-term growth as the regions are going to grow and are already moving out, as seen with COVID-19," Noble says.
If successful, the small freight idea could become a major part of Victoria’s freight rail infrastructure and revolutionise the region.
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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