While TasRail would not disclose the value of the contract, its CEO Mr Damien White says it is "substantially less than $A 20m" ($US 20.7m).

Delivery of the new wagons is expected to start in the middle of next year. They comprise 36 ore, 17 coal, 18 cement and 120 container wagons. TasRail currently has a fleet of 378 wagons of seven different types which are 40 years old and life expired.

"With the first of our 17 new locomotives expected to start arriving late next year, combined with the significant and steady improvement in the safety and reliability of operations, TasRail can now start to shift its primary focus away from the Rail Recovery phase to pursue its strategy to grow the business," says White.