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Friday, 8 May 1970


Mr Fitzpatrick asked the Minister lor Shipping and Transport upon notice:

(1)   How many miles of railway tracks in each Australian Stale have not yet been converted to the standard gauge system.

(2)   What is the estimated cost of conversion to standard gauge in each State.

(3)   What plans are under consideration tor such standardisation programmes.


Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows -

(1)   Latest published figures show following mileages for each railway system.

 

 

(2)   Without detailed studies, it is impossible to estimate the cost of conversion in each State. As an indication, conversion of narrow gauge main line to standard gauge might cost roughly $120,000 per mile, but this figure would not include marshalling facilities, rolling stock, or the expensive and difficult staging procedures which would be involved.

Similarly, conversion of broad gauge main line to standard gauge might cost about $35,000 per mile excluding the factors already mentioned. It should also be mentioned that the above figures could vary substantially according to the standards adopted.

(3)   Standardisation of the existing broad gauge Une between Adelaide and Port Pirie in South Australia is under consideration. A feasibility study has been carried out by independent consultants and their report is being considered by the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments.

An interdepartmental committee has been examining a proposal for the construction of a new standard gauge railway between Tarcoola and Alice Springs. This proposed line would replace the existing narrow gauge railway between Marree and Alice Springs.







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