AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Call to PM to sort out interstate rail wrangle: RTSA

<p>The Railway Technical Society of Australia (RTSA) has called on prime minister John Howard to speed up negotiations over the future of the New South Wales mainline interstate track.</p> <p>Unless the present deadlock between the NSW and Commonwealth governments is quickly broken, the society fears further delays to upgrades on ancient signalling systems used in several areas across the state. </p> <p>The Federal Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) submitted a proposal to lease the NSW interstate track in June but the NSW Government has called for clarification on certain issues.</p> <p>The RTSA government relations spokesman Philip Laird said the society, like many key rail players, is "increasingly concerned at the failure of the two governments to agree on the need to upgrade the rail track linking Australia’s three largest cities".</p> <p>The society’s major concern is the replacement of obsolete safeworking equipment, including the block telegraph between Exeter and Marulan &#8211 which dates back to 1920 &#8211 and the 1930 Casino-Brisbane and the 1914 Queanbeyan-Canberra electrical staffs.</p> <p>"It is now time prime minister Howard lends the weight of his office to expedite the negotiations between the NSW Government and the ARTC to make real improvements to the mainline interstate track," the society said.</p> <br />