AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Pacific National wants access prices examined

<p>The new owners of Pacific National &#8211 Toll Holdings and Patrick Corporation &#8211 have reportedly called on track owners and governments to consider discounting rail access as volumes increase.</p> <p>Toll Holdings chief executive Paul Little said access charges account for 30% of operating costs and do not fall when tonnages rise. </p> <p>He wants this situation addressed.</p> <p>Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) managing director David Marchant said he has not yet seen a written proposal from Pacific National and would be interested to examine the plan.</p> <p>Mr Marchant said under the present pricing regime there are incentives for increasing volume.</p> <p>ARTC track investment has increased train lengths between Melbourne and Perth. Access pricing is based on a 30% flagfall and then gross tonne kilometres, so if operators run longer, full trains prices will fall.</p> <p>ARTC’s access undertaking also guarantees real price reductions every year for the next five years.</p> <p>Mr Marchant said the ARTC’s approach has always been to keep prices down to help the industry win freight from road. What is not encouraged is for one operator to increase volumes simply by taking business from another.</p> <p>Instead, the system offers price reductions based on overall ARTC revenue. This means if the industry doubles tonnage, ARTC’s income grows and it can reduce access rates for all customers.</p> <p>Mr Marchant said if an operator has a plan that could significantly increase tonnage on the ARTC network, it would be willing to discuss ways it could help.</p> <br />