AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Cowra Lines tender bags two industry responses

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Two businesses have responded to Transport for NSW’s tender to reopen and maintain 200km of non-operational railway known as the Cowra Lines. </span> <p>Australian Rail Partners Pty Ltd and the Cowra Rail Company Pty Ltd have been listed as applicants to the tender.</p><p>“What’s been proposed, through the Cowra Lines tender, is a market-based approach, and we’re pleased to have received two responses from industry,” announced Rachel Johnson, deputy director general of Transport for NSW’s freight and regional development division.</p><p>“This response is an indication there are private sector organisations which see sustainable demand for freight on these lines and could be willing to invest in having them reopened.”</p><p>Johnson said the request for tender was the culmination of a strong partnership between Transport for NSW and five local councils – Blayney, Cowra, Weddin, Harden and Young – to investigate the potential viability of sustainable freight operations on the suspended Cowra Lines.</p><p>“The NSW Government has listened to and acted on the calls of the five councils and their Mayors for the government to work closely with the private sector to gauge interest and investigate if the Cowra Lines can be reopened and made commercially viable again,” she said.</p><p>The Cowra Lines run between Blayney and Demondrille, and Koorawatha and Greenthorpe.</p><p>Rail services were suspended on the Cowra Lines between 2007 and 2009 due to safety concerns and low freight volumes.</p><p>The tender, which opened on March 24 and closed on July 25, invited the private sector to submit proposals for restoring, operating and maintaining the Cowra Lines on a commercially sustainable basis under a fixed term licence.</p><p>Re-opening the lines could provide additional rail freight capacity for the Central West region and provide a boost to local industries and economies, Transport for NSW has said.</p><p>The NSW Government will now review the private sector responses to determine if they have addressed the previously stated essential tender requirements.</p>