OVER the past decade, there has been a 10-fold increase in logs transported by rail in Tasmania, according to the state government.

From a base of a little more than 20,000 tonnes of logs hauled by rail in 2012-13, TasRail transported nearly 260,000 tonnes of logs in this past financial year.

Moving logs on rail has reduced pressure on the state road network, particularly the Midland and East Tamar Highways.

State minister for infrastructure and transport Michael Ferguson said the government had invested heavily in our track and rolling stock and the investment is now paying off across a number of industries, particularly forestry.

“Our investment is also occurring at rail sidings and hubs, such as Brighton, where the logs are moved onto our trains and the development of new and improved Logtainer units,” Mr Ferguson said.

“The shift of the increasing volume of logs to our rail network is a benefit to our road network in terms of maintenance costs and congestion and this shift is being driven by commercial efficiencies.

“Industry sees the commercial value of our freight rail network and its reliability in terms of on-time delivery of large volumes, with derailments an extremely rare event.”

State minister for resources Felix Ellis said the forestry industry has benefitted from the investment.

“With two loading sites in the south, two discharge sidings at Bell Bay and specialised truck weighbridges at Parattah and Brighton, the industry is receiving accurate and timely data,” Mr Ellis said.

“The fact that TasRail is now handling up to six log services per week with up to 30 wagons on each is a testament to the commercial efficiency of rail transport. TasRail and industry will continue to work together to support future growth opportunities.”