Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Freight Rail

Penguin expert hired for rail line erosion works

TasRail has engaged a penguin specialist to help protect and manage penguin habitats near the rail operators planned coastal erosion and landslip works on the Western and Southern lines.

The works are part of the $119.6 million investment, jointly contributed by the federal and state government, into the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation program, which is to upgrade section of the state’s network over 4 years.

The tender for the works has just been released, with specifications that contractors take into account necessary environmental constraints, particularly as the coastline is home to penguin colonies and other birds populations.

The North West coast penguin colony has been identified as one of these environmental considerations, with an penguin expert appointed to monitor the birds’ habitats and to deliver recommendations for the management of the colonies during the erosion and landslip works.

TasRail CEO Damien White said that it was important the works were undertaken with a commitment to proactive environment management.

“This project is about protecting our natural environment and working with the community to ensure much-needed works can occur to prevent coastal erosion and landslip near Tasmania’s rail corridor,” White said.

“This project will reduce the risk of track obstruction, improve network reliability and assist in the reduction of ongoing maintenance costs, enhancing TasRail’s capacity to deliver freight in a timely and safe manner on behalf of its customers.”

The works are due to start in November on 13 sites along the Western Line, and 3 sites on the South Line.