Monday 19th Nov, 2018

TasRail engages penguin specialist

Photo:  JJ Harrison / Wikimedia
Photo: JJ Harrison / Wikimedia

A SPECIALIST has been engaged by TasRail as part of planned upgrade works on the rail network in a bid to protect and manage existing habitats of the Little Penguin, sometimes known as the Fairy Penguin.

TasRail CEO Damien White said the project was “all about protecting our natural environment and working with the community” to improve reliability of the rail corridor and assist in the reduction of ongoing maintenance costs.

The north west coastal penguin colony was identified as a consideration during the planning phase of its work on the Western and Southern lines. The work is part of the joint Australian and Tasmanian Governments’ $119.6 million infrastructure investment funding, which focuses on upgrades to the network over the next two years.

TasRail has engaged a penguin specialist from Birdlife Tasmania who will monitor existing habitats and make recommendations on the management of penguin colonies during works.

In its request for tender, IIP Coastal Erosion and Landslip, TasRail has specified that contractors must consider environmental constraints “as the coast line is home to penguins and other bird life”.

“This project will reduce the risk of track obstruction, improve network reliability and assist in the reduction of ongoing maintenance costs, enhancing TasRail’s capacity to deliver freight in a timely and safe manner on behalf of its customers,” said Mr White.

The tender documents are available on the TasRail website at

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