The worst fears of Wheatbelt communities were realised yesterday when Brookfield Rail announced the closure of two grain freight lines because of safety concerns.
he closure of the York to Quairading and Merredin to Trayning lines will create thousands of extra truck movements on roads as the Wheatbelt prepares for a bumper harvest.
Brookfield Rail chief executive Paul Larsen said a major derailment on the 116-year-old York to Quairading line last month and a lack of State Government investment were key factors in the decision.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but in the absence of substantial investment from government to support a longer-term operation, Brookfield Rail is not satisfied the safe and sustainable operation of these two lines can be maintained past October 31," Mr Larsen said.
"We are not doing this for politics. We are doing this because I have an obligation to run a safe business."
The future of the four remaining grain freight lines referred to as Tier 3 is in doubt as Brookfield and CBH continue talks.
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One word. "Embarassing"
Has WA run out of money? $90m to secure grain transportation for the farmers of WA is not a lot of money. The cost to repair roads having heavy haulage will be three times that amount.