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An upper house inquiry has been warned about the high costs involved in developing a passenger rail service for Hobart's northern suburbs.
Tasmania's rail operations will be relocated to the multi-million dollar transport hub at Brighton in the next 12 to 18 months.
The move will result in the decommissioning of the rail line from Brighton to Hobart.
An Upper House inquiry is exploring the idea of using the line for a passenger service.
TasRail Chairman Bob Annells has warned of the high costs involved.
"Everything about running railroads is expensive," he said.
"You just think of a number and put lots of noughts behind it."
Mr Annells told the inquiry that running a freight railroad is fundamentally different to running a passenger service.
He says advice should be sought from a company which delivers a small suburban service.
The inquiry was also told a commuter ferry service could operate on Hobart's River Derwent for as little as $4 million.
Former Brisbane ferry operator Rick Metcalf has been investigating the logistics of running a venture in Hobart.
Mr Metcalfe says he has already sourced four second-hand ferries from Paris.
He estimates they would cost between $3 million to $4 million to buy and operate in the first year.
Mr Metcalfe says that would cover operational costs including wages and fuel.
Upgrading existing jetties and creating new pontoons would need funding from Infrastructure Australia.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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