Aurizon opens $180 million Hexham Train Support Facility
Australia's largest rail-based transport business, Aurizon underscored its commitment to the Hunter Valley in officially opening the $180 million Hexham Train Support Facility last week.
Pictured: Aurizon representatives (left to right) Mark Burns, Ed McKeiver, Patrick O'Donnell, Mike Franczak, Lance Hockridge and Scott Riedel
The Hexham facility is strategically located near the Port of Newcastle and provides trains with fuel, water and other supplies, light maintenance and inspection capability. It will also alleviate capacity pressures in the coal supply chain that collectively benefits the local coal industry.
"We're pleased to continue our investment in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. Aurizon is confident in the local coal industry and we're here for the long-haul," Aurizon's Managing Director & CEO, Lance Hockridge said at the opening.
"From small beginnings in 2005, Aurizon has grown to an estimated market share of 30% in the Hunter with a 300 strong workforce. Over the past decade, we are proud to have invested more than half a billion dollars in rollingstock and facilities for our growing workforce, and in the community.
"This strategically located facility will provide Aurizon with the platform for the future, through improved capacity, productivity and turnaround times. We want to support the growth and future success of our customers."
Mr Hockridge said he was extremely pleased there were no safety incidents during the construction and commissioning phases of such a large, complex project.
"Aurizon is creating a leaner, smarter and faster business for our customers but safety will always remain the priority in all that we do," he said.
"Aurizon is also proud to have created employment opportunities for the local community. During construction we had 130 full time roles and now that the Facility is operational we have 30 roles.
The operational footprint only occupies 15% of the total land area of the Hexham facility and some 53 hectares of the site is being dedicated as vegetation offsets.