AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Pacific National considers compensation over bridge saga

<p>Pacific National may pursue compensation from the Rail Infrastructure Corporation (RIC) over the continued closure of a key bridge on the Sydney-Melbourne main line.</p> <p>The operator would try to recover some of the estimated $2m a week it is bleeding through additional costs and loss of business due to the closure of Menangle bridge.</p> <p>A spokesman for Pacific National said the company has not been told when or if the bridge would be re-opened.</p> <p>"We have heard lots of rumours but no formal advice," he said.</p> <p>The company said it is also unhappy about the RIC’s inflexible stand on line closures for scheduled repairs on alternative routes such as the Blue Mountains or via Newcastle.</p> <p>It has repeatedly requested that RIC show some consideration on the issue but to little effect, the spokesman said.</p> <p>RIC spokesman Andrew Vickery said he could not give a likely re-opening date for the bridge.</p> <p>"RIC is continuing to work with the rail safety regulator to have the Menangle bridge reopened as soon as possible," he said.</p> <p>The rail safety regulator’s office said it is continuing to assess the "structural integrity" of the bridge.</p> <p>This process is "likely to take some time", it said.</p> <p>The New South Wales opposition said it had referred the State Government’s handling of the bridge episode to the Independent Commission against Corruption.</p> <p>It wants to know why it took three weeks to shut the bridge after a report recommending its closure was completed in early March. </p> <br />