Tasrail has a new wagon fleet on order, with the first of the total of 191 new wagons to arrive mid 2013. The media release reads as follows:
24 October 2012
A safer, modern and more efficient freight rail service moved closer to fruition today, with TasRail entering into a new contract for the supply and delivery of a new wagon fleet.
TasRail Chief Executive, Damien White revealed that the contract with CNR Australia Pty Ltd, provides for the supply and delivery of 36 new ore wagons, 17 new coal wagons, 18 new cement wagons and 120 new intermodal wagons (for containerised freight). Chinese-owned CNR- Australia Pty Ltd is a well established supplier of wagons to the Australian Rail Industry. It was awarded the contract following an exhaustive tender process that began six months ago.
While the actual value of the contract value remains a matter of commercial-in-confidence, Mr. White revealed that it was substantially less than $20 million.The first of the new wagons are expected to arrive from mid 2013.
“This is a great outcome for TasRail’s customers and further evidence of the resurgence of freight rail in Tasmania”, Mr White said.
“With the first of our 17 new locomotives expected to start arriving late next year, combined with the significant and steady improvement in the safety and reliability of operations, TasRail can now start to shift its primary focus away from the Rail Recovery phase to pursue its strategy to grow the business”. “More freight on rail means less trucks on Tasmanian roads and less greenhouse gas emissions”, he said.
Although delighted that TasRail has been able to achieve the replacement of its current life expired wagon fleet within its budget, Mr White said the Company is disappointed that it had not been possible to achieve a competitive, local supply option.
“Early in the procurement process and prior to the Tender being issued in April this year, TasRail worked with the Department of Economic Development and the Industry Capability Network, to ensure that potentially interested local suppliers were well briefed”, Mr White said. “TasRail worked to ensure that local companies had maximum opportunity to prepare a tender submission, and this early engagement included TasRail hosting site visits to its operations, one-on-one briefings and inspections of the current wagon fleet”.
Mr White confirmed that two Tasmanian Companies had initially submitted wagon tender submissions, with one being shortlisted. However, that offering had proven to be more expensive across all four wagon types. “As much as possible, TasRail endeavours to utilise local resources, but balanced against its obligation to prudently invest the finite capital funds available to it for the replacement of Above Rail assets”, he said.
“The reality is that TasRail has been given a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace its aged rollingstock fleet. Accepting the higher priced proposal would have compromised the Company’s ability to purchase the required number of wagons to meet customer needs”, Mr White said.
TasRail inherited a fleet of 378 wagons when it was established in December 2009. The 40 year old fleet is of seven different classes and three different capacities. Its life expired condition and limited interoperability creates customer service issues, increased track wear and increasingly higher maintenance costs.
TasRail is confident that the new wagon fleet will be substantially more efficient, resulting in improved operating performance, increased capacity, service reliability and quality.
“With a new locomotive and wagon fleet, and a vastly improved track condition, TasRail will be well placed to provide Tasmanian business and industry a vibrant, customer-responsive and sustainable freight transport alternative”, Mr White said.
Cheers Daniel - *note: the above ^ is from the pdf file which can be found here.