TasRail eyes Bell Bay expansion

TASRAIL wants to spend millions of dollars expanding its rail services at Bell Bay.

TasRail chairman Bob Annells revealed the plans during today's government business enterprise hearing at Parliament.

The $7.9 million project is dependent on a funding proposal to the Commonwealth.

The plan is to create a terminal within the heart of the Bell Bay major industrial precinct, which is only 3.5 kilometres from the port. This could then feed into the Bell Bay to Burnie line.

During today's hearing, Mr Annells also said:

* 2011-12 was a difficult trading year, during which volumes of freight had fluctuated, but that ``it could have been much tougher year than it turned out to be''.

* TasRail had adjusted to the loss of an international shipping line from Bell Bay.

* An agreement between TasRail and Toll Group over use of the Brighton transport hub is close to being reached.

* TasRail will need to borrow $40 million for one to two years to cover high up-front costs of new rolling stock.

More in THE EXAMINER tomorrow

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