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Railway operator Pacific National Tasmania has renewed its warning that State and Federal Governments must buy the rail track if container services are to continue in Tasmania.
PNT has made a decision to close its rail services, forcing 2000 trucks a week onto Tasmanian roads, unless $100 million is spent on the track.
"We are not asking for anything more than what is provided around the rest of Australia," said chief executive Neil MacKinnon yesterday.
The Federal Government-owned Australian Rail Track Corporation owns railways in four mainland states.
Mr MacKinnon said it was misrepresentation to describe the Government investment in rail track as a handout to private enterprise.
"At current levels of business, Pacific National Tasmania cannot afford to maintain the main line if it is to offer prices competitive to road transport," he said.
Consultants Maunsell and former Tasmanian economist John Madden of Monash University have been appointed to study the impact of the halted rail services.
"We are concerned it has taken 20 days to get this far, leaving only 24 days for consultants to complete their work by November 18," he said.
Pacific National's future is complicated by a row between its joint venture owners Toll Holdings and Patrick Corporation stemming from a $4.6 billion hostile takeover.
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