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The Tasmanian Government is struggling to find an operator for the troubled Abt Railway on the state's west coast.
The heritage railway, which closed in April, is likely to reopen in time for summer but without a permanent operator.
The tourism venture is likely to be run by the State Government while talks continue with two potential operators.
The railway is being refurbished with a $6 million grant from the Commonwealth.
Infrastructure Department secretary Norm McIlfatrick says while there have been two expressions of interest, it is unlikely either can run the tourist railway alone.
"I'd have to say that it's unlikely that we will have a full operating model where the Abt Railway Corporation can step back and let someone else operate it," he said.
"We're talking to both those expressions with a view to perhaps involving them over the 2013-14 season in a different way...and we all recognise that probably the best way forward is to get the rail back up and running.
"That's our first objective, to get tourists back onto the railway then look for a long-term operating model."
Cradle Coast Authority Executive Chairman Roger Jaensch is not surprised about the delay.
"It was always a bit of a lottery going to the market."
Luke Martin from the Tourism Industry Council is confident about the attraction's future.
"It's better than the alternative which is essentially for the train to be left in the jungle."
But Strahan tourism operator Annette Deverell has some concerns.
"I'm not certain what I think of the Government running it, but I guess as long as it's running it's good for tourism."
Capital works are still underway on the ageing track but the railway is expected to re-open in December.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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