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Author Topic: ARTC to investigate incorporating Queensland into the national rail network  (Read 1520 times)


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Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Scott Emerson

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

JOINT STATEMENT: ARTC to investigate incorporating Queensland into the national rail network

The Federal Abbott Coalition Government and Queensland’s Newman Government have agreed to investigate incorporating Queensland into the national rail network.

Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson today met with the Federal Government’s Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) in Canberra to kickstart an investigation into expanding the ARTC’s 8500km national network.

“Over the last 15 years we have seen the ARTC deliver improvements for freight networks across Australia by investing in infrastructure and staff, in return for management of track access,” Mr Truss said.

“Jointly with the Queensland Government we have asked ARTC to investigate the viability of this proposition and carefully weigh up the pros and cons of such a move in Queensland.

“There are a number of factors that still need to be considered and by no means is this a done deal, but it’s important that we have all the facts on the table.”

The ARTC was created as a one-stop shop for Commonwealth and State Governments in 1997 and is responsible for 8500kms of track in Australia.

This includes a 94km section in Queensland between the NSW border and Acacia Ridge, which was transferred to the ARTC in 2010.

Mr Emerson said ARTC officers would begin working with Queensland Rail staff later this week and report back to the Queensland and Federal governments by mid-year.

“Queensland’s Moving Freight strategy shows the freight task is expected to grow by 80 per cent over the next decade and we need a rail network that can do that heavy lifting,” he said.

“Unlike the previous Queensland Labor governments we won’t ignore bottlenecks such as access to the Port of Brisbane, a single track on the Sunshine Coast, and flood prone areas of north Queensland.

“For almost 150 years Queensland’s rail freight network has operated separately from the rest of Australia, and as a result, has missed out on a share of investments provided for the national rail freight network in other states.”

The Queensland rail freight network includes about 6600km of track outside south-east Queensland.

Offline Stillwater

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Maybe the Sunshine Coast Line 'No More Bottleneck' logo and slogan worked on Minister Emerson's psyche?   ;D

For there to be a 'we' in the plan, Mr Emerson must realise that the ARTC would be interested in track, deviations and signalling only.  For Queensland to be part of the 'we' coalition of the willing, the Newman Government probably would have to commit to the cost of new stations, car parks etc (the add-ons to rail that passengers require).  The question is whether Mr Emerson is committed to this. 

He needs to be pinned down on just what he's prepared to commit in order to there being a 'we'.  If he expects all new infrastructure, including that used by passengers to access any new, duplicated or realigned track, to be paid for by the Feds, then maybe he should have used the word 'they' rather than 'we'.

Mufreight may have to dust off his modular Lego-land railway platforms and station building plans.  Maybe we will see an end to the scaffold and plywood platforms at seven SCL stations.

It is all exciting stuff!

Hope the SCD runs the RailBOT media statement - thanks ozbob.

Online ozbob

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