A new heritage passenger rail experience could be operating by this summer following the decision to grant the Tasmanian Transport Museum Society (TTMS) access to the main rail line between Glenorchy and Berriedale.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is strongly supportive of tourist and heritage rail operations on Tasmania’s non-operational rail lines, and this proposal is an exciting initiative that would be a boon for tourism and local businesses in Hobart’s northern suburbs.
A corridor notice will be tabled tomorrow in Parliament that will allow the TTMS access to about five kilometres of the South Line, which has been non-operational since TasRail’s freight rail terminal shifted from Macquarie Point to Brighton several years ago.
The TTMS will still be required to seek all necessary approvals from the National Rail Safety Regulator, and they are working on a range of operational matters including the implementation of level crossing controls for its planned operations.
Importantly, the heritage passenger rail experience will not preclude any future light rail operation on the corridor. The TTMS operations would be conducted under a lease agreement through the Hodgman Government’s Strategic Infrastructure Corridors Act, which contains a number of provisions to enable the corridor to be reserved for future strategic uses.
I congratulate the TTMS, in particular Rod Prince and David Batchelor, for their hard work and enthusiasm and I wish them well in achieving the federal regulatory approvals necessary to start operations.