Rail's market share of the land transport task on the strategic freight corridor from the eastern states to Western Australia has risen to a record 77 per cent, its highest level for over a decade.
Australian Rail Track Corporation CEO, David Marchant said "Rail's market share against road has reached 76.9 per cent for the year 2000/01 to date (as at the end of February) and has been rising steadily since a low of 65.2 per cent in 1995/96."
"This reversal in rail's fortunes coincides with the application of open-access principles to interstate rail corridors and above rail competition between train operators."
For the 2000 calendar year, rail carried approximately 2 million tonnes of freight to Western Australia, compared with 700,000 tonnes for road. On an average month around 160,000 nett tonnes are moved by rail from the eastern states to Western Australia.
Freight rates are estimated to have fallen by at least 30% since the introduction of competition on this corridor Through an investment program of track upgrading, passing loop extensions and improved signalling systems, ARTC has played an integral part in assisting this process. Over the last two years approximately two and a half hours has been cut from freight train transit times between Adelaide and Perth. Trains 1.8 kilometres long and weighing up to 5,500 tonnes now regularly operate in both directions across the Nullarbor.
David Marchant said, "Through improvements in reliability and transit times and by offering reduced freight rates in relation to road, rail is ensuring that it is an essential, sustainable element of the Nation's transport logistics network. "On the east-west corridor, rail has clearly demonstrated that it can deliver and that it can challenge many of the standards that applied to a past era of rail transport. Customers around the country are recognising that rail has made significant improvements in efficiency, reliability and competitiveness and offers them a viable transport alternative to road."
"The challenge now is to ensure that the appropriate framework is provided to mirror the success of the east-west corridor on other key national transport corridors such Melbourne-Sydney and Sydney-Brisbane. This is critical if the interstate rail network is to provide industry with alternative and sustainable transport options for the future and grow market share in relation to other transport modes."
For Further Information Contact: David Marchant on 0419 733 201
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