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Eyre Peninsula Freight Study

Following a study on the future of freight transport on the Eyre Peninsula, the State Government has identified that a package of road upgrades as the best option to cater for future freight movements in the region.

The South Australian Government has concluded that given the rail corridor is no longer commercially viable for grain going forward, a package of works to upgrade roads on the Eyre Peninsula would alleviate the expected impacts from the transition of rail to road as well as deliver greater community-wide benefits.

The South Australian Government has been working closely with the Australian Government to develop this package of road works. The Australian Government has announced $100m funding to upgrade the South Australian section of the Port Augusta to Perth corridor. This commitment includes funding to upgrade roads on the Eyre Peninsula in response to the closure of the rail corridor.

The package of works will focus on enhancing road safety and community amenity, particularly in and around high-traffic areas following the expected transition of freight from rail to road.

Works undertaken could include:

  • Overtaking lanes
  • Road widening and shoulder sealing
  • Road safety improvements

The SA Government will work closely with local councils to identify opportunities to improve road safety outcomes as part of this package of works.

The Eyre Peninsula Freight Study (PDF, 18456 KB) considered a number of options for keeping the existing freight rail line open on the Eyre Peninsula.

Built more than 100 years ago, the railway is now limited in sections to 20 kph operating speeds and wagon loads not exceeding 12 tonnes per axle.

The study identified that the cost to upgrade the rail network would be around $150 million dollars, with no guarantee that there will be sufficient grain volumes to justify this investment.

An option to retain the Cummins to Port Lincoln line was considered, contingent on Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) and Viterra agreeing this was a viable long-term option, when taking into account future region-wide developments.

The T-Ports facility at Lucky Bay, as well as grain port proposals for Cape Hardy, Port Spencer and Decres Bay will potentially further reduce future rail freight volumes. The T-Ports facility at Lucky bay will start receiving grain for the 2019 harvest.

GWA and Viterra have concluded that rail operations are not viable.

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