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Adelaide-Darwin railway

 

Adelaide-Darwin railway


The Adelaide–Darwin railway is a north–south transcontinental railway in Australia, between the cities of Adelaide, South Australia and Darwin, Northern Territory. From 2000 the line was extended from Alice Springs to Darwin as a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer back (BOOT) project by the AustralAsia Rail Corporation.

The line sees the Great Southern Railway operated passenger train 'The Ghan' as well as goods trains operated by Genesee & Wyoming Australia.

History


See Central Australian Railway for details of history of the first route - the Adelaide-Darwin railway is a different gauge and route

Alice Springs to Darwin

In 2000, the AustralAsia Rail Corporation (a company owned by the Northern Territory and South Australian Governments) awarded the contract to build and operate the Adelaide to Darwin railway line as a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer back (BOOT) project to the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium. The Asia Pacific Transport Consortium contracted FreightLink to implement the project and to operate the railway.

It cost $1.2 billion to build.[2]

The Australian Government contributed $165 million from the Centenary of Federation Fund, the Northern Territory Government contributed $165 million and the South Australian Government contributed $150 million to the AustralAsia Rail Corporation for the construction of assets by Asia Pacific Transport Consortium and FreightLink that were later leased for a peppercorn rent to FreightLink in addition, the three Governments contributed about $26 million each, a total of $79 million in further funding to support the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium directly, by way of mezzanine debt financing (subordinated debt), equity, and contingent equity.

Construction


  • July 2001: North: Construction of Alice Springs – Darwin line starts
  • 17 September 2003: Darwin reached, the line from Adelaide to Darwin is complete
  • 17 January 2004: First freight train reaches Darwin
  • 4 February 2004: First passenger train reaches Darwin from Adelaide, travelling 2970 km in 47 hours.[3]

Bankruptcy and sale

The Freightlink board, shareholders and lenders on 19 May 2008 agreed to sell its ownership of the Adelaide to Darwin rail link after failing to make a profit since the railway line commenced operation.[4][5] Then on 6 November 2008 Freightlink went into voluntary administration after failing to reach agreement with creditors on the terms of a sale of the business.[6] Genesee & Wyoming Inc agreed to purchase the assets of FreightLink on 10 June 2010 for $334 million,[2] and when the sale is complete the 50-year lease on the Adelaide- Darwin railway will be transferred to Genesee & Wyoming Australia.[7]

Infrastructure

  • 1420 km
  • 6 major bridges crossing the Katherine, Elizabeth, Adelaide, Cullen, Fergusson and Edith rivers[8]
  • 87 minor bridges
  • 1,500 culverts[9]
  • 145,000 tonnes of rail[9]
  • 2.8 million tonnes of ballast
  • 2 million sleepers
  • 8 million sleeper fastenings

Services

As well as the Great Southern Railway operated The Ghan passenger service, freight services operate on the line. Genesee and Wyoming Australia is the main operator.

Stations

The original narrow gauge railway served, indeed often created, the towns at the stations along the way.

The new standard-gauge railway has stations at Tennant Creek and Katherine, plus passing loops at Illoquara and Newcastle Waters.[10]

See also

References

Further reading

  • Rozycki, Jack (Jan–Mar 2003). "The Never Never Line. Australia's biggest project: the Adelaide-Darwin railway". Australian Geographic 69: 50–67.

External links

  • History of the Adelaide-Darwin Railway
  • TARCOOLA TO ALICE SPRINGS RAILWAY ACT 1974

  • Crossing Loops T-AS
  • Crossing Loops AS-D

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