Truck overload

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

On October 31, Brookfield Rail will close this line and the Merridin-Tryaning line, despite a bumper grain harvest.

The future of other Tier 3 lines will be negotiated with grain handler CBH.

In a statement, Transport Minister Troy Buswell said grain would be transported by road instead to Cunderdin then by rail from there.

But WA Farmers Association president Dale Park told Comment News most of the wheat would not go to Cunderdin because growers wouldn’t want to move their wheat backwards once it was on a truck due to the cost. He expected more trucks on Brookton Highway, Tonkin Highway or Great Eastern Highway to CBH in Welshpool.

A 2.5 million tonne harvest is expected this year, due to late rains, resulting in about 15 per cent of the harvest going on Tier 3 rail lines this year ” nearly double the normal 8 per cent.

‘Most of the wheat on the Quairading line will go by road through the metro area,’ Mr Park said.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said the city had not had the opportunity to fully investigate the implications of the rail closure, but the city had concerns for local councils that would find the life of their roads drastically reduced by high grain tonnage.

It could also mean less funding for other councils competing for the same pool of money.

‘We will monitor the freight routes through the city to see if there is an increase in volume if rural truckies decide to freight their grain right down to Kewdale,’ Cr Zelones said.

‘Canning Road and Brookton Highway are the most likely routes.’

Armadale MLA Tony Buti said Brookton Highway could be dangerous because there were few overtaking lanes.

‘Brookton Highway is not built for high volume heavy haulage and they have to transition through Kelmscott,’ Mr Buti said.