MEDIA RELEASE 11 September 2001


Australia Southern Railroad (ASR), South Australia's only private rail operator, is setting new records for the movement of grain by rail to the Port Adelaide and Port Lincoln shipping terminals, with farmers and the community reaping the benefits. Figures just released show that a record 235,000 tonnes of grain was moved during August by Australia Southern from South Australian country silos to the Ausbulk shipping terminal at Port Adelaide. The highest weekly volume was 59,500 tonnes of grain hauled by rail to Port Adelaide, with an average of four trains a day, seven days a week running to and from the shipping terminal. Records have also tumbled on ASR's Eyre Peninsula rail network with record tonnages of up to 133,500 tonnes per month being moved from local silos to the Port Lincoln terminal. For the first time, rail's share of transporting the yearly grain harvest will pass a new benchmark of 3 million tonnes.

ASR's Transport Services Manager, Wayne Jaensch said, "These figures are remarkable. Our previous monthly figure for grain movements to the Port Adelaide terminal has been eclipsed by around 60,000 tonnes, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous record." "There have been numerous logistics challenges to overcome in attaining these records, and the success of the rail transport task could only have been achieved with the close cooperation of AusBulk, AWB Ltd and ABB Grain Ltd." A number of other factors have enabled ASR to improve rail's performance as part of the grain transport supply chain.

Earlier this year, ASR was a awarded a new contract for the management of AusBulk's rail services, which involves ASR handling a significantly increased level of the shunting activities within the main Grain Terminals. By introducing a degree of flexibility into its operations, ASR has had to advertise and employ additional casual locomotive crews to assist with moving the harvest, which has allowed the operation of extra trains at weekends.

Earlier this year additional grain wagons were hired from sister company Australia Western Railroad in WA to improve the carrying capacity of the grain fleet. Mr Jaensch said, "Farmers will obviously benefit from these improvements to the supply chain for their valuable export crops through the provision of safe and efficient transportation and from competitive freight rates."

"There also are obviously a number of flow-on benefits to the wider community through reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reduced damage to rural road networks, and reductions in noise, road accidents and road congestion." "When ASR was privatised in 1997, the aim was to win back traffic that had previously been lost to road. The company's goal at that time was, within 5 years, to be moving up to 50% of the state's harvest to the shipping terminals by rail. With a record 3 million tonnes moved this season and another large harvest on the horizon we appear to be well on target to reach that goal," Mr Jaensch said.

For further information contact -Wayne Jaensch on 08 8343 7794 or 0418 566 887

Australia Southern Railroad is wholly owned by the Australian Railroad Group (ARG), Australia's largest private rail operator. ARG through ASR and its other subsidiary Australia Western Railroad (AWR), provides intrastate rail freight haulage of bulk commodities to key industries in South Australia and Western Australia, as well as short-haul shunting and terminal operations in SA. It is also a major supplier of locomotives, crews and wagon leasing services to freight forwarders and infrastructure providers operating on interstate rail corridors. ARG is jointly owned by leading US regional rail operator Genesee & Wyoming Inc., and WA based diversified industrial Wesfarmers. ARG is a member of and preferred rail operator for the Asia Pacific Transport Consortium, which will construct and operate the Alice Springs to Darwin rail link.

Australia Southern Railroad Pty Ltd
320 Churchill Road
Kilburn SA

Phone 08 8343 5455 Fax 08 8343 5454

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