The Hodgman Liberal Government’s 2019-20 State Budget includes a substantial investment of $16 million over four years to support the West Coast Wilderness Railway.
The investment will include substantial upgrades to the railway’s infrastructure and expand capacity with new rolling stock.
The popularity of the railway has seen visitor numbers spike from 20,270 four years ago to 32,551 last year, and it is currently experiencing around 7.21 per cent visitor growth year-on-year.
This crucial investment will ensure the ongoing viability of the West Coast Wilderness Railway as a safe, unique, authentic, enjoyable and interactive heritage tourism icon.
It will also see the replacement of some 18km of track, as well as bridge upgrades to ensure the railway maintains its high standards of safety and customer experience.
The upgrade of rolling stock includes the introduction of a fourth steam locomotive to meet operational needs and increase operational capacity.
This funding builds on the $18.5 million already invested in the railway since 2014.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has welcomed the significant freight infrastructure investments contained in the Tasmanian State Budget.
ALC CEO, Kirk Coningham, said, “The Tasmanian Government is to be congratulated for making a record $1.6 billion investment in transport infrastructure projects that will allow Tasmania to meet a growing freight task and plan for continued growth over the years ahead.
“Tasmania faces a unique set of freight logistics challenges as an island state. Improving the efficiency and safety of its supply chains will be essential to lock-in the economic gains of recent years and accommodate the freight demands of a growing population.
“ALC particularly welcomes the investment this Budget makes in enhancing road and bridge infrastructure. This is not only essential for ensuring that businesses and households can receive goods in a timely manner, but is also critical in supporting Tasmania’s agricultural and forestry producers in their export activities.
“ALC similarly applauds the major investments being made in the state’s rail infrastructure, which will promote greater use of freight rail in Tasmania, delivering benefits for the wider community in terms of safety and the prevention of road congestion.”