They may look burnt on the outside but inside, the quality is anything but poor.
Burnt timber logs from fire grounds trucked into Goulburn's rail hub are being hauled out to port and shipped to China as part of International Primary Products' (IPP) operation.
Crawford Freightlines is contracted to haul the product to Port Botany from the hub, off Braidwood Road.
Director Peter Crawford said the facility was hauling two trains a week loaded with timber, some of which was from the Tumut area.
"It's not all of it that's burnt; it's just the bark and it's still very good timber on the inside," he said.
The yard is also transporting green timber sourced from the region. IPP set up the Goulburn operation at the rail hub in 2016. Logs are trucked in and fumigated before being loaded on to Crawford's trains.
Mr Crawford said volumes had dropped off in recent time. However it has recovered from earlier in the year when Chinese ports shut down for four weeks, rather than the traditional two over their New Year. Coronavirus restrictions also impacted.
"We had freight and trains sitting at our yards not doing anything from the end of January to mid March. It was a nightmare period," he said.
The Post has sought comment from IPP.
The rail hub, operated by Chicago Freight, was established in 2015. Crawford Freightlines is just one of the operators.
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Mr Crawford said his company was also hauling scrap metal from Queanbeyan to port and one train each fortnight was carrying product from the Dargues gold mine at Braidwood to Port Kembla.
"We're looking to expand our business in the (Goulburn) region," he said.
"We are taking some freight to Young and imports to Canberra and it is starting to build. Once the momentum builds, it will grow quickly. We are certainly there for the long term."
The company has also extended its rail siding to over 300 metres, almost three times the original length to handle volumes. It also employs five people in Goulburn.
Chicago Freight signalled in 2018 that it was looking for more land to expand its rail hub but options were limited.
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