TasRail full steam ahead

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

In the year we celebrate the 150-year anniversary of rail in Tasmania, TasRail has set records in freight volumes, on-time running and safety.

Despite the pandemic, 2020-21 was a record for rail freight volumes, with TasRail transporting 508 million net tonne kilometres of freight for Tasmanian industry.

This represents a 6 per cent increase over the previous year, with the standout performer being the general container segment that increased 12 per cent.

Industry knows that it can rely on TasRail and about 90 per cent of TasRail’s freight task is under long-term contract, with TasRail providing more than 100 services per week, transporting a range of goods including cement, coal, minerals, logs, finished paper, zinc and aluminium ingots, consumer goods and chocolate.

TasRail operates in a highly competitive environment and must deliver its goods on time. In 2020-21, 97.7 percent of TasRail’s six daily container services were delivered on time.

That discipline extends to derailment avoidance: 2020-21 is TasRail’s first financial year derailment free.

In fact, on 30 June 2021 TasRail had not had a derailment for a record 723 days, and could be the first year of zero derailments in the entire 150 years of rail industry in Tasmania.

Capital investment in the rail network is also at record levels due to funding commitments of the Tasmanian and Australian Governments.

With about $400 million in capital for infrastructure renewal across Tranches One, Two and Three of the Freight Rail Revitalisation Program, Tasmanian industry can be assured it will continue to have access to high quality rail logistics into the future.

Tasmanians can be proud that TasRail has awarded the design and construction contract of the new Burnie Port shiploader to Launceston-based company COVA Haywards.

There are 140 full time jobs associated with the design and construction of the new shiploader, which will double the loading speed capacity of the existing facility.

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