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A national rail freight company has indicated they would be prepared to surrender their lengthy 'ground lease' on Barossa's railway corridor should a suitable alternative use for the line be identified.
Genesee Wyoming Australia's offer comes as the state government this morning (Friday) announced to Barossa media the release of a tender expressing interest for the use of the railway line from the Gawler to Angaston.
With the ground lease to expire in 2047, the government's Expressions Of Interest (EIO) now seeks a broad range of proposed initiatives for the corridor, which includes rail and other uses.
"The primary objective is to identify the best use of the rail corridor in the long-term interest of the state and local economy," Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll explained.
Providing details of the announcement at Kroemer's Crossing, Tanunda, Mr Knoll shared examples of use including extending agricultural area for farming purposes and shared paths.
However, he pointed out that future use of the corridor would also influence two road projects currently under consideration:
"If rail capacity is to be retained at these sites, both projects would incur additional costs," Mr Knoll said.
It was in 2014 when the stone train from the Penrice quarry to their factory at Osborne ceased.
Also, in the 1960s regular commuter passenger services to the Barossa closed as did the Barossa Wine Train, the last tourist and heritage passenger service, in 2003.
Meanwhile, the EOI closes September 10 for Stage 1.
Should proposals demonstrate merit - such as funding source, state government requirements and benefits to the community - they will progress to a short-listing process.
A final outcome will be identified by March 2020.
"I am sure there are many great ideas which have been thrown around within the local community, and (we) look forward to seeing what proposals are put forward," Mr Knoll added.
Story update to follow next week.
This article first appeared on www.barossaherald.com.au
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