AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Commonwealth’s NSW rail package found wanting: RTSA

<p>The Commonwealth Government’s $870m package for New South Wales interstate rail infrastructure is "not fully funded", the Railway Technical Society of Australia has said.</p> <p>The RTSA has requested that prime minister John Howard support a "Keating-like" package of $450m of funding to complete patch-up measures plus major track straightening.</p> <p>On the $870m package offered in June 2002, which is yet to receive a response from the NSW State Government, the RTSA said: "The commonwealth budget only provides around $110m of the $870m required for the basic track pack. </p> <p>"The balance is from train operators and loans.</p> <p>"While the package is understood to contain essential measures to speed up freight trains between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, it is not fully funded and it does not include any major track straightening."</p> <p>RTSA spokesman Philip Laird said the Keating Government’s 1994&#4795 $450m package had helped rail win 80% of interstate freight to Perth through patch-up work on the Melbourne Adelaide corridor. </p> <p>Dr Laird said an Australian Rail Track Corporation’s audit calculated that failure to upgrade the track will lead to an extra 110,000 extra truck movements a year along the corridor.</p> <p>The society has written to both the Commonwealth and NSW state governments requesting that they work harder on reaching agreement on the management of the interstate rail track.</p> <br />