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September 07, 2009

Deal struck on Tasmanian sell-off

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THE government of the Australian state of Tasmania will reassume control of the island's 726km railway network at the end of this year after finalising an agreement to buy all the assets of Pacific National Tasmania (PNT) from parent company Asciano for $A 32 million ($US 27.4 million).

Subject to approval by the state parliament, the 1067mm-gauge network will return to state ownership on December 1. Tasmanian government infrastructure minister Mr Graham Sturges said the deal would secure the future of PNT's employees and services following a long period of deep uncertainty.
Pacific National acquired the Tasmanian business from Australian Transport Network (a partnership between Tranz Rail, New Zealand, and Wisconsin Central, United States) in 2004.

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