Freight Rail, Operations and Maintenance, Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Tasmania

Logs roll onto rail in Tasmania

tasmania logs

 

Tasmania has recorded a 10-fold increase in timber logs transported on rail over the past 10 years.

From a base of a little over 20,000 tonnes of logs hauled by rail in 2012-13, TasRail transported nearly 260,000t of logs in the last financial year.

State Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said not only was the shift delivering transport efficiencies for the forestry sector, but also reducing pressure on the State road network, particularly the Midland and East Tamar Highways.

“The quiet transformation has demonstrated the value of the Government’s investment in the State rail network,” he said.

“We have invested heavily in our track and rolling stock and the investment is now paying off across a number of industries, particularly forestry.

“Our investment is also occurring at rail sidings and hubs across Tasmania, such as Brighton, where the logs are moved onto our trains and the development of new and improved Logtainer units.

“The shift of the increasing volume of logs to our rail network is a benefit to our road network in terms of maintenance costs and congestion and this shift is being driven by commercial efficiencies.

“Industry sees the commercial value of our freight rail network and its reliability in terms of on-time delivery of large volumes, with derailments an extremely rare event.’’

Resources Minister Felix Ellis said the forestry industry had benefitted from the investment.

“With two loading sites in the south, two discharge sidings at Bell Bay and specialised truck weighbridges at Parattah and Brighton, the industry is receiving accurate and timely data,’’ he said.

“The fact that TasRail is now handling up to six log services per week with up to 30 wagons on each is a testament to the commercial efficiency of rail transport.

“TasRail and industry will continue to work together to support future growth opportunities.”