AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Truss gives SA rail boost, Tassie decision expected soon

<p>The Federal Government will fund a $2.5m railway realignment project near Adelaide that will allow for the double stacking of containers.</p> <p>Federal transport minister Warren Truss made the announcement at the AusRAIL PLUS 2005 conference in Sydney yesterday (Thursday, November 24).</p> <p>The realignment will occur beneath the Bakewell Bridge &#8211 which is also to be reconstructed &#8211 at Mile End and it will increase the clearance on the underside of the bridge deck to allow for double stacking of containers.</p> <p>Mr Truss also told delegates that the Government’s present transport studies, one on the north-south corridor and one on national intermodal terminals, showed there were many significant challenges for rail transport ahead.</p> <p>There was a need to identify crucial sites quickly and it was important to protect those areas now from "unsympathetic development" before new terminals ramped up, he said.</p> <p>Mr Truss said he expected to receive reports on Tasmania’s rail situation by the end of the month before making a decision on whether investment in the state’s rail infrastructure can be justified.</p> <p>"Pacific National made a commercial decision to purchase the lease of the Tasmanian network," Mr Truss said.</p> <p>Now the company deemed the network uneconomic and wanted to see intermodal services stop, he said.</p> <p>The Federal and Tasmanian governments have commissioned independent reports to determine the economic viability of Tasmanian rail and on the likely economic impacts to the state of intermodal services ceasing. </p> <p>"It is a very difficult and challenging decision," Mr Truss said.</p> <p>"No-one wants to put money into something unless it can be profitable and viable in the future."</p> <br />