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Pacific National no longer national

Freight train operator Pacific National is to exit its Tasmanian services. 

Tasmanian infrastructure minister Graeme Sturges told state parliament that Pacific National is selling its rolling stock and will cease to operate in Tasmania.

Amidst concerns over the future of the state’s rail industry, Mr Sturges said there are some companies interested in the company’s rolling stock, and the $120 million rail line upgrade project is progressing well.

While the minister’s announcement came as a surprise to the parliament, the company has publicly indicated its possible pull-out due to the poor performance of its Tasmanian services.

The company announced in December 2007 its possible market exit following a comprehensive review of operations.

Spokesperson for Asciano, which owns Pacific National, said the review has been finalised and the company is currently preparing the sales process and relevant documentation.

“We understand the importance of rail in Tasmania and we will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders, including the Tasmanian Government, to try and reach an outcome that ensures rail operations continue in the state,” the spokesperson said.

Pacific National bought the Australian Transport Network, which operates Tasrail, in February 2004.

Photo: www.pacificnational.com.au

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