MOVING TO overcome the legacy of its fragmented heritage, Australian Rail Track Corp implemented a new national code of practice for operations and safeworking on the interstate rail network on June 4. Track owners and operators from Queensland to Western Australia have agreed to implement the new code, which was developed over three years and endorsed by the federal and state transport ministers at the end of May.

On June 17 ARTC completed its Adelaide - Perth upgrading programme with the commissioning of improvements at Port Augusta. A new crossing loop has been added, and speed limits raised from 30 to 60 km/h.

May 30 saw the launch of a weekly intermodal service between Adelaide and Sydney, operated by Australia Southern. Handling up to 7000 TEUs a year, it is the first regular private freight train to use ATRC’s Broken Hill corridor since deregulation of the interstate network. ASR plans to provide connections at Adelaide for traffic to and from Perth, and on the line to Alice Springs which it took over from ARTC in April.