East West Rail Freight Record Tumbles

For the third year in a row, rail freight movements between the Eastern States and Western Australia have reached a record level in the lead up to Christmas.

Rail freight volumes increased by 6.3% from November 2007 over November 2006 on the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) East West rail network.

The total of 3.46 billion gross tonne kilometres (bGTK) for November, 2007 exceeded the previously monthly record of 3.44 bGTK set in October 2006 and represents an increase of 6.3% over the November 2006 figure of 3.25 bGTK.

ARTC CEO, David Marchant said, “Since ARTC became responsible for the bulk of the East West interstate rail network in 1998, traffic volumes have consistently increased, often outstripping the national economic growth rate.”

“Overall growth on the corridor for the year to date is more modest at 1.3%, but volumes have been severely impacted by the ongoing drought across much of the country.

“Rail now has 80% of the land freight between the Eastern States and Perth and the industry is working collectively to maintain market share on this corridor.

“The entry of a new intermodal operator to the corridor (QRNational) in November and the delivery early next year of new, more powerful, locomotives and wagons for other operators will help us in achieving this goal.”

Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC) is currently undertaking a $2.1 billion upgrade of its North South rail corridor between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. This will see transit times for intermodal superfreighter services cut by up to 7 hours between Melbourne and Brisbane, making rail more competitive with heavy road transport.

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