US company buys Darwin-Adelaide railway operator

FreightLink, the company operating the Adelaide-Darwin railway that went into receivership in 2008, has finally been sold by the receivers to US-based Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI).

The purchase is understood to have cost GWI AUD 334 million as well as taking on some debt. GWI has been operating in Australia since 1997, and has supplied and managed FreightLink’s rolling stock since the line’s commencement in 2004.

The railway line was one of former prime minister John Howard’s pet projects, who supported the construction of the 1,420 km Alice Springs to Darwin leg with Federal Government funding. The 824 km Tarcoola-Alice Springs section was already in existence.

FreightLink had a chequered career, with minerals and defence contracts its main income source as many intermodal operators, such as Northline, had returned to road freight after a brief trial, as FreightLink put its prices up.

Martin Madden from receivers KordaMentha said the sale process is expected to take up to three months.

“The Foreign Investment Review Board has approved the purchase, with ACCC approval pending,” he said.

Source: T and L News