Rail transport in Tasmania

The railway in Tasmania consists of a narrow gauge network in Cape gauge ( 1067 mm) that connects all major population centers in Tasmania. Today only goods trains, usually as trains. The passenger was discontinued in 1978. In some sections, however, go museum trains.


The main lines

The first opened in Tasmania route led from Deloraine to Launceston. She was built as a broad gauge railway (1600 mm) and fitting by guarantees landowners who expected to receive from a web advantages, has been funded and was opened on 10 February, 1871. In 1872, the company went bankrupt and was taken October 31, 1873 by the Government of Tasmania. The government's attempt to honor the warranties of adjacent landowners, led to considerable resistance.

On 1 March 1876, the main route Hobart Evandale was opened ( near Launceston ). It was built in Cape gauge by the Tasmanian government, run by the Tasmanian Main Line Company and connected on 1 November of the same year with an extension to the existing road to Deloraine in the Western Junction Railway. Between Western Junction Launceston and now there was a three-rail track, which has been extended until March 17, 1885 by Deloraine and allowed the through traffic in Cape gauge also to there. Until August 18, 1888 broad gauge track was dismantled and so completed the re-gauging the track. On 30 May 1885, network reached Devonport. 1890 acquired the Tasmanian Government, the Tasmanian Main Line Company and created the Tasmanian Government Railways. On April 15, 1901, the network was extended to Burnie and was able to connect to the Emu Bay Railway, which was built by Zeehan coming by the operators of the mines there, and had been put into operation on December 21, 1900 there. 1913 was an expansion of the government network to Wynyard, which was extended in 1922 to Wiltshire Junction, where she joined the route from Stanley to Smithton.

The main routes were operated until 1975 by Tasmanian Government Railways. The company was taken over by the Australian National Railways Commission and renamed TasRail this year. The Australian National Railways Commission summarized the Commonwealth Railways, the rail transport, interurban South Australia and the Tasmanian State Railway together. TasRail was sold in November 1997, Australian Transport Network Limited, a joint venture of the New Zealand Railways Trans Rail and the U.S. railroad Wisconsin Central. In 2003, when the Canadian National, the Wisconsin Central and Toll Holdings Trans Rail took over, all the exposures were sold overseas. Railway operations of TasRail passed to Pacific National.

In 1998, the Emu Bay Railway was purchased along the west coast of the island by the Australian Transport Network and legally united with the rest of the network.

Branch lines

  • Parattah - Oatlands, 1885 ( closed 1949)
  • Conara Junction ( on the main line Hobart Launceston ) St Marys, 1886
  • Derwent Valley Line: Bridgewater ( now a suburb of Hobart ) New Norfolk, in 1887, expanded in 1888, after Glenora and 1936 by Kallista
  • Launceston - Scottsdale, 1889, expanded in 1911 by Branxholm and 1919 by Herrick
  • Deloraine ( Lemana Junction ) Mole Creek, 1890 ( closed 1985)
  • Don Junction Paloona, 1916, extended to Barrington 1923 ( total closed 1963). 1976, the section Don - Don Junction Township was reopened.
  • Launceston Bell Bay, 1974 ( industrial port). For this section, there were considerations to expand it to standard gauge to allow ferry traffic between the mainland and Launceston. The plans were not pursued.

Island farms

About the closed network are additional single island businesses:

  • Bellerive- Sorell, 1892 ( closed 1926)
  • Zeehan - Strahan (then: Regatta Point ), 1892 The line was in 1901, after the opening of the Emu Bay Railway, connecting to the network gesamttasmanische and lost its status as a stand-alone operation. .
  • North Mount Lyell Railway

Decay of the system

The most famous train of Tasmania was the Tasman Limited, which was set wrong since 1954 and 1978. The decline of the rail system was caused in part because investment failed to materialize in the technology and the web were continuing as in the heyday of rail transport. There were entertained over a hundred stations and maintain a wide range. The railway was considered with the best service in Australia. The concomitant high headcount was no longer economically in returning traffic. Reforms implemented too late, so that eventually the core business itself had to be slashed. Also the conversion to diesel railcar was able to create in the long run no more remedy.

In 1970, about 70 trains a day were handled in the station of Hobart. But in 1975 the rail-based public transport the Tasmanian Government Railways in Hobart and surrounds the passenger was abandoned, total set with the transition of the Tasmanian Government Railways to TasRail 1978. The train station of Hobart was demolished and converted into a parking lot.


The railway infrastructure is owned by the Tasmanian government, the entertainment operations are contracted out to other companies. In September 2009, were also the railway, which was by then out of the Pacific National, to revert to the state-owned TasRail. The performance of the system today is low: the block spacing between trains from 10 to 15 km. The rail freight is however estimated, since it relieves the road in Tasmania annually many thousands of truck trips. In freight transport - the last remaining of traffic next to some traffic museum - is Hauptfrachtgut cement, is transported from Railton to Devonport. More goods are transported by rail coal, wood, container and paper.