Welcome to Future Transport Tasmania

We are here to lobby for better public transport and rail infrastructure in Tasmania. We aim to find solutions to allow all Tasmanians to have environmentally responsible and affordable commuting options to get around our state and towns. A more detailed mission statement can be found in the left column or <here>.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Media Release

RAILWAY LINE MUST STAY

Northern Suburbs Railway not the only good reason
to keep rail access


A representative of the community-based public transport advocacy group, Future Transport Tasmania (FTT), today attended the first meeting of the Community Advisory Panel for the Light Rail Business Case project. FTT is grateful to the Minister for Sustainable Transport and Alternative Energy, Nick McKim, for inviting the group to be part of the panel. FTT strongly believes that the Northern Suburbs Railway should be progressed into a viable infrastructure project, so that the Hobart to Bridgewater railway line is retained and used effectively into the future.

FTT believes that even though the Brighton Freight Hub will reduce the need for freight trains to come into Hobart, rail freight access Hobart should be retained. It is possible in the future other industries such as Nyrstar at Risdon, may decide to switch to rail freight. The railway line also connects the Tasmanian Transport Museum, which possesses operational historic locomotives and rollingstock, to the State rail network. Even if the Northern Suburbs Railway project does not eventuate in the short term, FTT is adamant that the railway line into Hobart should not be pulled up.

Future Transport Tasmania spokesperson Toby Rowallan said: “We are looking forward to assisting the progression of this Business Case to help get this project off and running. We need to make sure that we have a viable and efficient service, that will attract users and increase options for the city and the Northern Suburbs. We also want to make sure that the railway line is retained and is used effectively. At the moment we have a corridor that is relatively under-used, and with the completion of the Brighton Freight hub due next year, will soon be even more under-utilised. With that comes the opportunity to create a new commuter rail service using the existing line. It will cost far less to do this than it would to construct a new line from scratch, as they are now doing on the Gold Coast, for example.”

“All around the world there are instances of new commuter and light rail lines being constructed. All around the world they are achieving record growths in patronage and interest. Everywhere they go they increase property value, and stimulate housing and commercial development. Here in Hobart we have a line which was used as a commuter rail service thirty-five years ago. We now have more people, more congestion and correspondingly more demand for alternative modes of transport. If its done properly, there’s no reason why we can’t have a highly successful commuter rail service in Hobart and to the Northern Suburbs. With the excellent work already done by Engineer Ben Johnston, we have a simple and commonsense project that is achievable. Today we start working on making it happen,” finished Mr Rowallan.

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For further information:
Toby Rowallan (secretary) 0418 997 069

Mailing address:
Future Transport Tasmania
Bathurst St. Post Office
PO Box 4515
Hobart 7000