DISAPPOINTED: Peter Partridge.But the line would not be closed, he insisted.
Mr McKinnon said that low freight volumes on the route had meant a significant financial loss for Tasrail over the past few years.
“We had meetings … to see if we can attract additional freight and reverse that financial loss,” he said.
“We’ve been unable, to date, to attract sufficient rail freight to make the service financially viable.
“As soon as there is a business case that justifies the reinstatement of regular services, we would be the first ones to (do so).
“But that appears to be a long way away … because of the nature of the area, and terrain, road transport can offer a very competitive service.
“To be perfectly honest … if we’d known then what we know now, we would never have reopened the line in 1998.”
Mr McKinnon said that Tasrail reopened the line on the basis of “very substantial volumes” of timber coming out of and going into the region.
“They didn’t ever come to fruition, (but) the line will be maintained until Tasrail can justify running services again,” he said.
Dorset Mayor Peter Partridge said that the cessation of rail freight services was disappointing for the region.
“It’s one of those things that happens when governments dispose of public utilities like railways,” he said.
“Once they get in the hands of private enterprise, they need to run at a profit, or the shareholders get upset.
“I understand there’s a bridge at Wyena that needs some attention, and I’d urge the Government to make some money available for that.”
Cr Partridge said that the proposed upgrade of Golconda Rd had taken on new urgency following Tasrail’s announcement.
“The money promised will only fix about a third of the road to Lilydale,” he said.
“And the cessation of rail services will mean even more truck movements on already congested, inadequate, access roads.”
Bass Liberal MHA Sue Napier said that the end of rail services meant an extra 60,000 tonnes of freight on the North-East’s road system.
Fellow Bass Liberal MHA Peter Gutwein said that the State Government should commit to a Bridport-Scottsdale Rd upgrade because of a potential extra 40 heavy vehicle movements a week.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.