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Wednesday, 30 March 1966

Mr Webb b asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice -

1.   What increase in freight has been carried on the Sydney-Melbourne railway as a result of the standard gauge line?

2.   What effect has this increased freight had on the Commonwealth Railways and on other State railways?

Mr Freeth - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   The standard gauge line between Melbourne and Wodonga was opened for goods traffic on 3rd January 1962. The increase in freight carried on this line since then is reflected in the following figures -


The overall increase between 1960-61 (a full year before completion of the standard gauge) and 1964-65 was 76 per cent. Of course, not all of this increase can be attributed to completion of the standard gauge, but no doubt it was a major factor.

2.   It is not possible to segregate the effect on the various railway systems of the increased freight carried on the Sydney-Melbourne standard gauge line since January 1962. The increased freight carried over this line has assisted not only the New South Wales and Victorian railways but has extended to and has benefited, to some extent, the other railway systems.

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