Australia seeks buyers for Australian National Railways (April 1997)


The Australian government wants to unload the financially troubled Australian National Railways Commission. And it won't be long before it sells off its interest in a second railway.

The government is seeking "expressions of interest" for the purchase — whole or partial — of Australian National. AN comprises Tasrail, which provides freight haulage services in Tasmania; Passenger Rail, a passenger service that operates the Indian Pacific, the Ghan and The Overland; and SA Rail, which manages South Australia's interstate freight operations.

As of press time, bidders were to file expressions of interest by April 10; short-listed parties then were to receive more detailed information by month's end. The government hopes to sell AN by June 30. The sale would be handled by Australia's Office of Asset Sales and its business adviser, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Australia Ltd.

At least one U.S. railroad — Wisconsin Central Transportation Corp. — has expressed interest in AN.

Australia also plans to sell its interest in National Rail Corp., which is owned by the federal government and the state of Victoria. Sales efforts would begin in earnest once AN is sold, Australian officials have said.  

Source: The April 1997 issue of Progressive Railroading