TRN News snippets
Last updated 18 August 2006
For further information on these stories (and many more), see our magazine Tasmanian Rail News
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- PNT signs a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government regarding the future of the track and other issues. Whilst there is still a long way to go with the process, it is a further step forward.
- Despite threats that the railway system would close by the end of September 2005, things have plodded on since then with various up and downs. Most train service have continued to operate, although some traffics have been dropped, mainly due to lack of motive power and rolling stock. The situation with the state government seems to have been resolved, although put on the back burner until the completion of a state election and the finalisation of the new parliament.
- MKA locomotives finally enter regular service in the last few weeks of 2005, although this is offset by more reliability problems with the remainder of the loco fleet.
- In what appears to be an effort at forcing a government hand on funding for infrastructure, PN announces that all container traffic will cease. One sticking point appears to be a disagreement between the State and Federal government over unrelated parts the Auslink package
- PN closes the Derwent Valley line to all services due to deteriorating track condition. Regular operations on this line by the Derwent Valley Railway Preservation Society cease
- MKA locomotives start to undergo testing, with the process still ongoing in late June.
- Ongoing loco reliability issues see more unusual consists and workings through to the present
- Tasmanian Transport Museum railcar DP26 returns to Burnie after 30+ years as part of a charter trip
- Heat related speed restrictions and fire risks continue to slow train services though the midlands during the day
- Three MKA class locomotives delivered from storage in Adelaide. These locos left Tasmania in the early 1990s as withdrawn ZC class.
- Most of the remaining ZC locos stored to provide parts for the MKA locos.
- Trading name of Pacific National Tasmania officially adopted
- The first signs of Pacific National owenership - repainted locomotive ZR2101 emerges. Picture of the new colours can be found here and here.
- Former TGR garrett K1, now preserved at the Welsh Highland Railway in the UK, is sucessfully tested and transported to its new home. More details and photos can be found at the WHR site
- All train operation on the North East line to Tonganah ceased at the end of the month.
- Increasing zinc and pine log traffic see the lunchtime train from Hobart to Boyer exceed 30 wagons on occasions
- The Victorian government and Pacific National come to an agreement about the purchase of Freight Australia, who operate intrastate services in Victoria, and interstate services in most other mainland states.
- Tasmanian Transport Musuem Railcar DP26 is hired by the Derwent Valley Railway for the day, and becomes the first railcar beyojnd new Norfolk for 25 or 30 years
- Three MKA locomotives, which were originally rebuilt from ex Tasrail ZC class, have been obtained by Pacific National and sent to Queensland for shunting and trip train working for PN's own trains in Queensland.
- Loco 2124, sold for parts to Western Australia's South Spur Rail is scrapped at East Tamar. Click here for photo
- The Hobart City Council displays two of its trams on the Hobart waterfront as part of the public disussion on its tramway proposals. Photo can be found here
- No signs of any changes related to the sale of ATN. A press release can be found on the Pacific National web site
- Well, it finally happened. After months of speculation, ATN is finally sold to Pacific National. The sale price this time around was $40 million. As yet there has been no other information released.
- Pasminco announces changes to the distrbution of its Zinc, replacing the bulk shipping from Hobart with railing containers to northern ports.
- Tasrail introduces a new timtable, with the major changes being train 43/44 and 46/47 being replaced by an altered 33/38 train
- Proposals for a tourist tramway around Hobarts waterfront has been the subject of much debate in the local press
- November was a very busy time for chartered passenger trains, with Don River & Burnie City Council running a number of trains as far as Melba and Hobart, and the Tasmanian Transport Museum reaching Launceston twice. All three gorups, as well as the Derwent Valley Railway, also operated many shorter charter trains in their usual areas of operation.
- The Abt locomotive and guards vans preserved at Menzies Creek in Victoria have left for rebuilding in Tasmania after being pucrhased by the Tasmanian state government
- South Line coal train #43 runs intermittently while the paper mill at Boyer trials alternative coal supplies
- M4 runs an around the state tour for the Don River Railway, while the Tasmanian Transport Museum's Y4 is transferred north to assist with some other trips
- Toll Ltd continues in its bid for Tranzrail, and with it 27% of Tasrail
- Derwent Valley Railway runs their annual Fathers Day train from Hobart to Ross. The Tasmanian Transport Museums loco Y4 is hired for the day making two red Y's at the front of the train.
- Thursday 21 August 2003 was the 40th anniversary of EBR loco 1002
undergoing trials, becoming the first of the class to operate in Tasmania. It was planned for the Don River Railway to use 1002 on a couple of passenger trains on the Saturday, but this was not possible and the loco was added to the back of an extra train hauled by V2. A number of photo stops were held, this being one
- A couple of other photos taken over that weekend:
Train 733 at Coiler Creek on the Saturday afternoon (DQ2004-DQ2011)
Train 736 stabled at Devonport on Sunday morning (DQ2008-DQ2009-QR2056-DQ2012)
- Extensive flooding in the north of the state causes wash-aways and disruption for various Tasrail services
- The Derwent Valley Railway purchased X30, which has been owned by the Rotary Club of St Marys, and displayed outside at St Mary's station for the last 15 years
- 28 July 2003 marks 25 years since end of scheduled passenger
services on the former TGR network, with the Tasman Limited being the last of these services to cease.
- The Tasmanian government makes an announcement regarding the purchase of the "Abt" loco from Victoria, however the locos owners say that the announcemnet is premature and no agreement has yet been reached
- Uncertainly as to the ownership of Tranz Rail in New Zeland (who own 27% of Tasrail), and public statments by Toll have reignited takeover rumors for Tasrail.
- Increasing loads and loco unreliabilty results in the two evening goods trains frequently stalling on the steeper grades and needing to be pushed from behind
- Tasmanian Transport Museum operated railcar DP26 on a suburban railtour
- The autumn upsurge in traffic sees trains of 50 to 70 wagons in/out of Hobart become regular
- Tasrail suspends freight services to Wiltshire. What this means for the long term is unknown, as this line has been "closed" in the past
- ZB2125 shipped to South Spur Rail in Western Australia. (for more details see January 2003)
- A spectacular derailment at Railton closes Burnie to Launceston/Hobart mainline for two days, but two of the three locos return to traffic after a week.
See Yuri Sos's picture from his site
- Consistent hot weather and lack of rainfall leads to cancellation/rescheduling of South line trains on days of extreme fire danger
- A trial shipment of logs from Hobart takes place over a number of weekends
- ZB2129 has been sold, and shipped to South Spur Rail in Western Australia. Photos of the loco in WA can be found on the news page at the Western Australian Railfan Site. It is believed that eventually four locomotives will go to Western Australia
- West Coast Wilderness Railway / Abt Railway to open for its full length on Friday 27 December
- Launceston Tram 29 is relaunched and operates under its own power to celebrate 50 years since the end of trams in Launceston
- ATNs mainland operations cease for the time being due to lack of traffic, and a numebr of stored L class are sold
- Tasmanian Transport Museum loco M5 became the first steam loco up the Derwent Valley line in over 8 years, when it runs a charter train to Westerway. Photo at Karanja, photo at Macquarie Plains
- DC4588 suffered major engine failure and has been taken out of service
- Two ex EBR 11 class are sold to Queensland interests - 1105 to Beaudesert Rail, and 1101 to Kuranda Steam Railway. 1105 has since been repainted and is now in Queensland. 1101 remains stored in Burnie
13 September 2002
- The Abt Wilderness Railway has been renamed the West Coast Wilderness Railway
- Work on Abt Railway continues, with loco U5 and flat wagon KG145 from the Derwent Valley Railway heading to Strahan to assist with track work, returning to New Norfolk after approximately 4 weeks
- The Tasmanian Transport Museum, with assistance (and insurance) from the Derwent Valley Railway, operated a charter trip from Glenorchy to Parattah and return for the birthday of renown sculptor, Stephen Walker
- Derailments continue for Tasrail, with the North East line being the hardest hit
9 July 2002
- The casino operator Federal Hotels has confirmed its purchase of a stake in the Abt Railway on Tasmania's West Coast. The group has bought out the interest of entrepreneur Roger Smith, who was one of the driving forces behind the project. Federal intends to commence management from the 1st of August. [ABC News]
- Public liability Insurance hits Tasmanian railways
Don River Railway and Derwent Valley Railways close doors to the public, whilst Burnie Council and Tasmanian Transport Museum cancel all mainline operations. A government rescu package allow some operations to recommence although what results this will bring remain to be seen
- A shortage of Driver-Only GM locos sees DC4588 back out on the mainline, and the increasing use of 2 loco sets when traffic allows
- A state election has been called for 20 July
- The mud continues to be thrown regarding the Abt Railway, with the track sub-contractors Colemans, being dismissed.
March / April / May 2002
- Converstion of EBR concentrate trains to Air brake comlpeted, with usual locomotives now being DQ & QR classes
- Still no word on the opening of the full Abt Railway
- Scrapping of some derelict ZC class locomotives takes place at East Tamar
- Tour to celebrate 50 years of M class goes ahead, but with deisel haulage
- Steam returns to the mainline in May with Don River Railway trips to Rosebery and TTMS trips to Hobart
January / February 2002
- Log trains on the Melba Line recommence
- Converstion of the first ex EBR concentrate wagon to Air brake
- Hunslet steam locomotive from Ida Bay Railway returned to the Don River Railway
- To improve responsiveness in case of fire, three former clay tankers have been placed at stategic locations for use
as water tankers
- Operations on the ABT Wilderness Railway commence between Strahan and Dubbil Barril, until two derailments within
four days forces closure of this section pending track work.
- Despite persistent rumours, no announcement has yet been made as to the sale of ATN.
- Both D class are in regular traffic, with one or two usually rostered on the Paper Train
- Don River Railway celebrates its 25th anniversary with a special open day.
- Three ZC class are transferred from storage at East Tamar to Devonport, to allow Alstoms to return these
locos to operational condition for Leisure Rail WA Ltd.
- Queen Victoria Museum opens its new site at the former Inveresk rail-yards. The former carpenters shop now
features a railway exhibit, including locomotive Y3 and a number of wagons.
August / September 2001
- One D class commences regular running on the daily Paper Train between Hobart and Burnie
- D class commence load testing & final adjustment of traction control package
- Conversion of Y7 to driving trailer completed
- Long time Burnie tippler shunter, Number 21 sold and delivered to the Derwent Valley Railway. Photo after arrival.
May and June 2001
- The two D class locos arrive in Tasmania from New Zealand
- English Electric powered Z & ZA classes reappear in Hobart after an absence of some months
March and April 2001
- Former EBR 10 class loco 1004 leaves for the Zig Zag Railway in New South
Wales, as V13 returns to Tasmania
- The annual Autumn upsurge in traffic (particularly apples) results in long trains
from Hobart again, with 50+ wagons being noted on some trains
- Wisconsin Central Railroad to be sold to Canadian National. Part of the sale conditions
were that WC sell all its overseas operations. With Tranz Rail in New Zealand also
undergoing a reorganisation, it is likely that all shares in ATN will be put up for sale
within the next year.
November & December 2000
- Skeletal FE class log wagons modified with additional stanchions for increasing pine log
- Some stored ZC class locos returned to service to cope with increasing tonnages on the
north east line
- ABT rail commences public running between Queenstown and Lynchford
- Log loading commences at Rogerville, north of Hobart
- New siding installed at Longford, in the north of the state
- Train 33, the afternoon Burnie to Hobart service regularly terminates at Western
Junction, with container loading being carried on the later train.
August & September 2000
- X1 celebrates its fiftieth birthday!
- Log traffic slowly increases, with Wiltshire, Hampshire and Longreach log trains running
- Coal wagons HF1 and HF2 released with draw-bars replacing normal couplers
June & July 2000
- The overhaul of former EBR loco No22 is completed, and the loco is road tested before
being taken to Queenstown
- Perry steam loco Klondyke, from Victoria's Bellarine Peninsular Railway arrives in
Tasmania for work onthe ABT railway reconstruction.
- ATN commences wheat operations in Victoria & New South Wales, and also purchases
three 830 class locomotives for use on these services
- Hellyer Mine closes, and all four 10 class locos are stored as traffic plummets
April & May 2000
- ATNs first mainland locomotive, L251 released from the NREC workshops at Whyalla, and
taken to Melbourne
- Train Order forms are replaced by Track Warrant forms, along with some other changes to
- 2112 emerges painted in maroon after 9 months out of service with all modifications
- Steam loco M1, preserved for over 25 years in a park in Ross is removed and taken to the
Derwent Valley Railway
- First track laid as part of ABT railway project, in the Queenstown yard area
- Former EBR shunter No.22 joins the two steam locos at Saunders & Ward Engineering
for modifications required before use on the new ABT Railway.
- Overhaul and Driver-Only modifications to 2112 (former Z3) completed, although the loco
has not been released into general traffic.
- Daily services recommence on the North East line to Tonganah
- Taking of woodchip logs from Wiltshire to Longreach (on the Bell Bay line) commences
- Trains 33 and 38 (formerly afternoon Devonport to Hobart and midnight return) are
extended to run to/from Burnie
- Work continues on new Queenstown station building with much of the framing now
- Scheduling changes yet again. Locos from train 46 run to East Tamar for fuelling before
returning to Western Junction & running to Railton. Evening Longreach and afternoon
Hampshire log trains become more common.
- New Zealand assembled Arataki portable remote control equipment was tested on the
Railton to Devonport cement train, with a DQ at one end and DC4588 at the other
- A minor head-on collision at Western Junction yard puts three DQ and one ZA class loco
out of service for a short time (a Z class loco re-entered service the next day), but a
number of coal and container wagons are expected to be scrapped. By the end of the month,
one DQ and the ZA were back in traffic.
- The two ZR locos return to service after modifications to their braking system to allow
full multiple unit operation with DQ and QR locomotives
- Last operational QK wagon removed from service and sent for rebuilding into a longer QS
- More wagon modifications occur, including moving the staunchions on FD log wagons for
specific traffic, and the production of QNH wagons from old log wagons.
- Log loading commences at Railton, and declines on West Coast. Train 46 terminates at
Devonport more frequently
- Conversion of QK class flatwagons to QS class continues, with at least 65 of the planned
78 conversions completed
- Announcement of the successful tenderers for the construction (Hazell Bros) and
operation (Roger Smith - ABT Wilderness Railway Ltd) of the Queenstown to Strahan railway
on Tasmania's West Coast
- Four more DQ class locos leave Wellington bound for Bell Bay aboard the Melanesian Chief
- Trains carrying pine logs from Fingal to Longreach commence. Wagons are taken from
Fingal to Western Junction on train 46, and collected by light engines from East Tamar in
- Overhaul and rebuild of 2112 (Z3) continues
- More FE type log wagons converted to container wagons, with the new wagons being
designated QNH, and are able to carry heavier containers than the original QN
class, and also 40 containers.
- The former Emu Bay Railway locos lose their Pasmionco branding and gain
Tasrail logos on the loco sides.
- Former ZA class locomotives make regular appearences on the Wiltshire to Hampshire log
- Loco 2112 (former Z3) enter East Tamar Workshops for Dirver-Only-Operation modifications
June / July 1999
- The first of 25 new wagons arrive from the mainland - They are ex National
Rail RENY class container wagons, and are identical to the existing QL class, although the
new wagons are fitted with electrical wiring for refrigerated containers.
- Tasrail introduced a new timetable from 15 June, with the major change being a second
train per day between Devonport, and Hobart, making a round trip every 24 hours.
- Log trains from Wiltshire (far north-west line) to Hampshire (former EBR) to
commence, and more pine loading commences at a second site on the former EBR line
- Tasmanian Transport Museums steam loco C22 stopped
with boiler problems, but articulated railmotor DP26 is returned to service after a
- Ex Tranz Rail loco DC 4588 ventures beyond the workshops and Bell Bay line to operate on
log trains to Rosebery.
- Autumn traffic surges see record length trains run from Hobart, with 70 plus wagons
running on a number of occasions, and 60 + being common.
- The Tasmanian Transport Musesums steam loco M5 returns to the mainline after a two
year break from running. The Hobart trips also see the first mainline operation of the
museums carriages SP4 and AAL10.
- Latest batch of 2000 class locos unloaded, tested and released for traffic.
- Trains run to Tonganah, Ling Siding and Scottsdale on North East Line, carrying logs,
timber and fertiliser
- Log trains from Rosebery continue to run every second day, whilst Wiltshire and
Scottsdale trains run irregularly.
- Tasrail runs log trains over the former EBR lines, the first non-ore goods train in some
- Modifications to the wagon fleet commenced, including former QK class container wagons
being extened to carry three shipping containers and upgrading of former New Zealand IB
class container wagons.
- Tasrail 2150 & 2151 (former TGR Y1 and Y5) run ballast trains from Burnie on both
former Tasrail and EBR trackage.
- New 2000 class and QR locos operational.
- Far northwest line sees trains again after a two and a half year break, when 2142 and
2143 haul five HD class superphosphate hoppers to Wiltshire.
- 2110 and 2111 (former Z1 & Z2) start working Burnie-Boyer paper train as
- Tasrail 2140 (ZC class) locos run ballast train over former EBR line, making first
air-brake train on old EBR.
- Three more 2000 class arrive from New Zealand, and bring yet another new colour scheme.
- One DC and three QR class locos also make their Tasrail debut following transfer from
- Z2 re-enters service after driver only operation modifications.
- Z1 re-enters service after driver only operation modifications.
- First ever diesel-electric locos down the old Emu Bay preserved X and Y class
haul Don River passenger train.
- 2000 class still breaking down frequently.
- Loco shortages sees stored ZC class returned to service.
Late September 1998
- The new 2000 class undergo testing, and operate in multiple with the existing ZP/ZR
- The operation of four locomotives on a Tasrail train becomes common, a practice not
carried out regularly since the withdrawal of the 830 class around 1988.
- Seven day a week operation begins between Hobart and Burnie.
- The boiler of steam loco H2 was lifted and taken away for repairs.
2 September 1998
- The first batch of 2000 class from New Zealand finally arrive.
July 24 1998
- On Friday July 24, the federal Transport minister announced a $20.5 million grant toward
the reconstruction of the Strahan Queenstown railway line. Despite enthusiastic
media reports, few actual details are known, and many important decisions are still to be
- Locomotive renumbering.
From June 1998, all operational Tasrail locomotives were renumbered. This article gives a
complete list of the new numbers, and also a photo to show how they were applied.
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