Tamworth's shipping industry is open for business.
That's the message from Qube Logistic's general manager of supply chain solutions, Sean Hovey, after a last-minute fix allowed the new Tamworth Intermodal Freight Facility to begin operations.
After a safety scare threatened to delay the facility's opening last week, Mr Hovey said a joint effort by "a range of parties" allowed the first train to roll into the facility just before 9am on Saturday, November 25.
"We were pleased to be able to work with UGL Regional Linx and Transport for NSW to get a safe and workable solution in place to enable the commencement of services at the eleventh hour," Mr Hovey said.
"We appreciate the support and advocacy of the local MP, Kevin Anderson, and others in making it happen."
The new facility allows businesses to transfer freight from truck to train and provides a direct rail route to vessels docked at Port of Botany and Port of Newcastle.
But as the second train shipped out on Monday morning, Mr Hovey said he's confident the hub will provide a bright future for local businesses.
"The commencement of rail services into the new Tamworth intermodal is a significant milestone for Qube and the entire Tamworth community, and a real win for local producers," he said.
"We're extremely proud to see services get underway after many years of hard work, advocacy and investment by a number of stakeholders."
Tamworth Regional Council predicts regional freight will grow 33 per cent by 2036 and have gone big on investment into the industry.
Building the hub's infrastructure cost council $2.2 million along with an equal contribution from the federal government.
The state government has also spent $35.4 million rebuilding five kilometres of rail from West Tamworth to Westdale.
Lastly, the logistics building surrounding the facility is currently being constructed by Qube and is expected to cost around $8 million.
Mr Hovey said the investment is worth it to unlock the region's full freight potential.
"Rail freight generates 16 times less carbon pollution than road," he said.
"The commencement of services out of the Tamworth Intermodal will help get trucks off local roads, improve the resilience of our freight networks, and enable local producers to efficiently get their products to market.
"As the terminal commences operations, we expect it will create new opportunities over time for suppliers, businesses and producers to have competitive rail access to ports for imports and exports, which will have economic benefits for the region and the country."