Rail freight ticking along in Tasmania

TasRail volumes hitting new heights after infrastructure works

Rail freight ticking along in Tasmania
Jeremy Rockliff


TasRail’s total freight volumes continued to grow in 2017-18 with a 10.5 per cent increase compared to the previous year, boosted by growth in forestry and intermodal volumes, the Tasmanian government says.

The state-owned freight enterprise broke its record three times in the past year for general containerised freight, with a top figure of 4,687 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in November 2017 surpassed in November 2018 to 5,356 TEU.

In addition to the general containerised freight records, TasRail also rails about 2,600 TEUs per month on a dedicated customer service between the south and north.

Tasmanian infrastructure minister Jeremy Rockliff says growth is expected to continue, with timber volumes growing by 24 per cent in the past year and plantation timber carried on rail for the first time.

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TasRail’s improved capacity and capability was improved by a joint state and federal $240 million investment into the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation Program that has enabled TasRail to upgrade below-rail infrastructure.

A $120 million portion of the program is due by June 30, 2019.

Work has included replacement of 115,074 new sleepers, replacement of 118,792 metres of rail and 65,894 tonnes of new ballast; and rehabilitation of 36 culverts, upgrades to 36 level crossings and more than 11,781 track welds.

The government says 92 per cent of the network is now operating at track speed, which is its best performance in decades.


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