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TasRail freight volumes at record levels

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Infrastructure

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is continuing to build the infrastructure our growing state needs including a better rail network to carry more freight.

TasRail’s total freight volumes continued to grow in 2017-18 with a 10.5 per cent increase compared to the previous year and boosted by standout growth in forestry and intermodal volumes.

TasRail rewrote the record books three times in the past year in terms of general containerised freight with a record 4687 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit containers) hauled in November 2017, beaten by 5125 TEUs in October 2018 and now 5356 TEUs in November 2018.

In addition to the general containerised freight records, TasRail also rails about 2600 TEUs per month on a dedicated customer service between the south and north.

This steady growth is expected to continue with timber volumes growing by 24 per cent in the past year and plantation timber carried on rail for the first time.

TasRail’s improved capacity and capability is attracting strong interest in rail as an efficient and sustainable part of the supply chain.

A record $240 million investment by the Tasmanian and Australian governments into the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalisation Program has also enabled TasRail to significantly upgrade Below Rail infrastructure.

TasRail is on time and on-budget to complete the $120 million tranche one of this program by 30 June 2019.

This work has included:

  • Replacement of 115,074 new sleepers, replacement of 118,792 metres of rail and 65,894 tonnes of new ballast.
  • Rehabilitation of 36 culverts, upgrades to 36 level crossings and more than 11,781 track welds.

This vital work is delivering a vastly safer and more reliable rail network with 92 per cent of the network now operating at track speed – the best performance in decades.

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s strong financial management is enabling us to respond to a booming economy by take vital rail infrastructure to the next level.