Below Rail Infrastructure, Freight Rail

Partitioning TasRail an option

A parliamentary committee has recommended the Tasmanian government consider splitting TasRail into two.

Under the proposal of the Tasmanian Legislative Council committee, it has been suggested that TasRail’s above rail business (carriages and locomotives) be freed from its struggling below rail business (the tracks and infrastructure).

Infrastructure Minister Rene Hidding told The Advocatethat vertical integration by TasRail had been consistent since TasRail was created seven years ago.

“Successive governments have supported this vertical integration as it is a more streamlined approach to operations,” he was quoted in The Advocate.

He noted committee findings suggesting the case for separation of the two business units, but not until the current $120m below rail infrastructure investment program was ready.

Other committee recommendations include:

  • The government monitor TasRail’s internal management culture and staff communications; and
  • The government develop a long-term state freight plan.

TasRail is hugely significant for the state’s freight task, linking the northern ports of Burnie, Devonport and Bell Bay with the capital city Hobart in the south.

This article originally appeared in Rail Express affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.