Penguin expert called in by Australia's TasRail

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HOBART, Australia — Tasmania's short haul, freight rail business TasRail has called in a penguin specialist from Birdlife Tasmania in a bid to protect and manage existing penguin habitats during planned coastal erosion and landslip works.

The railroad, established in 2009 by a buyout of Pacific National assets, is commencing major work on its Western and Southern lines as part of a $84.2-million joint investment by Australian and Tasmanian governments in the Tasmanian Freight Rail Revitalization program.

The program focuses on priority sections of the Tasmanian rail network being upgraded over four years to June 2019.

The North West coastal penguin colony was identified by TasRail as a consideration during the planning phase, so an expert was appointed to monitor existing habitats and make recommendations on the management of penguin colonies during works.

“This project is all about protecting our natural environment and working with the community to ensure much-needed works can occur to prevent coastal erosion and landslip near Tasmania’s rail corridor,” said TasRail CEO Damien White.

“This project will reduce the risk of track obstruction, improve network reliability and assist in the reduction of ongoing maintenance costs.”

TasRail has released a Request for Tender for coastal erosion and landslip preventative work, specifying that contractors must consider environmental constraints “as the coast line is home to penguins and other bird life”.

Work is expected to commence in November 2017.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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