January start for Alice-Darwin rail freight

<p>Freight services on the Alice-Darwin railway link will begin on January 15 next year, the line’s operator said today (Tuesday, June 17).</p> <p>The historic first trip will run from Adelaide via Tarcoola and Alice Springs, arriving in Darwin on January 17.</p> <p>Construction on the 1,420-km link between Alice and Darwin is ahead of schedule, allowing freight services to begin earlier than the original April 2004 start date estimate, operator FreightLink said.</p> <p>Passenger services on the line are also due to begin shortly after the first freight service.</p> <p>FreightLink said it did not yet know what or how much freight the first service would carry.</p> <p>But it said the existing Darwin-bound freight is a target.</p> <p>The first journey will be marked by a series of celebrations along the way and the train’s two locomotives will be "painted in indigenous colours", FreightLink said.</p> <br />