AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Final Maldon-Dombarton railway report sent to govt

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Nicholas Whitlam, chairman of the new Port Authority of New South Wales, has revealed that a final “shovel ready” report on the Maldon-Dombarton railway has been sent to Federal government. </span> <p>Mr Whitlam, speaking at the Shipping Australia lunch in Wollongong last Friday, described the potential railway as the project in the Illawarra “that could transform the economy”.</p><p>Acknowledging that the Federal government may “have other priorities” for its funds, Mr Whitlam argued for the inclusion of the private sector in the financing of the railway.</p><p>“We have the plans. We know the cost. It would take four years to build.</p><p>&quotThe entrepreneurial risk of completing the railway can be mitigated.</p><p>&quotPoint to point logistics require predictable throughput and coordination i.e. vessels coming to or leaving the port with cargo suitable for the railway a railway and inland intermodal facilities able to accept goods from the port and transfer goods to it.</p><p>&quotThe parties who could coordinate such a logistics chain and provide a good amount of throughput are easily identifiable.</p><p>&quotLet’s hope they can get together,” Mr Whitlam said.</p><p>Construction of a 35km Maldon-Dombarton railway line was begun in the early 1980s and much of the ground work was completed although the more expensive elements, such as bridges, and a tunnel were not built, according to a 2011 report for the Department of Infrastructure and Transport prepared by consultants Hyder and ACIL Tasman.</p><p>According to the 2011 report, up to 60 trains a day could use the line carrying coal, grain, copper concentrates, limestone, kaolin, cement, possibly iron ore, and containers.</p><p>That 2011 report also commented that “the net present value using a 7% real discount rate is estimated as a negative $206m – that is, constructing a Maldon-Dombarton line would not generate sufficient benefits to cover its costs.”</p><p><em><strong>This article was initially published in Rail Express’ sister publication, Lloyd’s List Australia.</strong></em></p>