Rail upgrades speed nickel freight for EV transition
Upgrades on the Leonora freight line have taken another step as demand for nickel transported on the network continues to grow. Arc Infrastructure recently completed the $5 million seventh stage of an eight-step $56 million upgrade to the 260km Leonora Branch Line (LBL)between the northern Goldfields outpost and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, which is due to be completed next year.
The LBL is seen as a critical part of the freight network in part because of its use to transport nickel, which is in demand as the world shifts towards electric vehicles, which use nickel batteries. Arc said the upgrades of the LBL builds on the company’s recent investment in the Goldfields region, which earlier this year saw the opening of the Hampton Intermodal Terminal to support the BHP Nickel west transport task.
The completion of the stage seven works – which saw 17.4km of track upgraded between Myamin and Menzies, as well as Doney and Goongarrie – will bring train journey times on this part of the network down by 10 minutes, according to the company. The LBL is a standard gauge link to the Eastern Goldfields Railway and Esperance Branch Line.
CREDIT – Tom Robinson (Kalgoorlie Miner)