Construction on the rail siding upgrades under the A$200m ($131m) Agricultural Supply Chain Improvements (ASCI) programme is set to commence in April 2024 in Western Australia (WA). 

The upgrades will take place at the Cranbrook and Konnongorring sites within the state.

This initiative is part of a joint effort by the country’s state and commonwealth governments to enhance supply chain efficiency through rail freight infrastructure enhancements. 

The projects, which are a segment of the ASCI’s A$68m first package, aim to upgrade 11 rail sidings at Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) Group grain sites.  

CBH has also contributed additional investment to the programme.  

The upgrades at Konnongorring are scheduled for completion by the end of the year. 

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WA Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said: “Our government is committed to building the capacity and efficiency of the state’s rail freight network through the ASCI programme and I’m really pleased to see the project gaining momentum with the rollout of rail siding upgrades at Cranbrook and Konnongorring. 

“These two projects will have a transformative impact on both our grain export capacity and community amenity, allowing hundreds of thousands more tonnes of grain to get to port and command the best prices for our growers, while taking more trucks off our roads.” 

The first of the ASCI rail siding projects to be finalised was at Brookton in August 2023, concluding ahead of schedule.  

The Broomehill site is also undergoing upgrades, which are nearing completion and will similarly expedite grain handling and loading processes.