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EYRE Peninsula’s rail system is in urgent need of investment to stop grain transport moving from rail to road, according to Member for Flinders Peter Treloar.
Speaking in state parliament earlier this month, Mr Treloar outlined his support for the Rail Safety National Law Amendment Bill 2017 and his desire to see investment in the region’s rail system.
He said without investment in the railway, up to one million tonnes of grain, which is transported each year along the line from Wudinna and Kimba to Port Lincoln would have to be transferred to roads.
“The challenge we face is to keep the rail here on Eyre Peninsula in good condition to continue to provide transport for gypsum and grain at a competitive rate,” he said.
“It is becoming quite urgent and has got to a point where the system needs further investment to operate at a safe and competitive level.
“The line, which ultimately delivers from Wudinna south and Kimba south transporting to Port Lincoln transports one million tonnes a year and if it ceased to operate then that goes on to the road.
“It is fundamentally a freight line and without the rail it would put pressure back to state roads and I would worry that the roads would not have the capacity to handle the extra load.”
He said there were issues relating to rail crossings on the Tod Highway, particularly where the railway line and the highway run parallel, leaving minimal room.
Mr Treloar said he would like to see the capacity of the line, operated by Gennesee and Wyoming (GWA), increased.
“It would be nice to think the capacity of the line can be increased, it would enable longer trains to travel at higher speeds.”
Mr Treloar said the next step in the process was to source funding.
“We will look for federal funding and also be in contact with Viterra and GWA, who are important in the process,” he said.
“I have spoken to Minister Stephen Mulligan, the state infrastructure minister and plan to meet with GWA.”
This article first appeared on www.westcoastsentinel.com.au
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