Tasmania’s state-owned rail company is said to be “teetering on the brink of collapse”.
It has been a year since TasRail was established and chairman, Bob Annells, has told a parliamentary hearing it has been a tough 12 months.
“This is a company, a freight railway, teetering on the brink of collapse,” he said.
He told the hearing many of TasRail’s locomotives and wagons are in desperate need of replacing.
“Large numbers, and we’ve got hundreds of wagons, but many, many of them are simple not operable anymore.”
But Mr Annells says the company has started to turn a corner.
“Without counting chickens or anything else, there are some pretty pleasing improvements in the numbers in relation to this business.”
TasRail expects its freight assets to break even by mid 2012.
The Infrastructure Minister, Lara Giddings, told the hearing the company was “virtually a broken business” and has had to be rebuilt from the ground up.
“A lot has been achieved but there is a long way to go with TasRail and I think that it’s important that the community know that this is going to take some years to rebuild a company up to a level where you could argue that it’s sustainable in its own right,” the minister said.
Earlier on Tasmanian Times, Jarvis Cocker: Off the rails ...