Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA Freight)

Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA Freight)

Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA) is an Australian rail freight operator company. It is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming (51%) and Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets (49%).

Genesee & Wyoming Australia History

On 1 November 1997, Genesee & Wyoming acquired the South Australian rail freight assets of Australian National from the Australian Government including a 50

-year lease on the network from the Government of South Australia. Operations commenced in November 1997 with the operation branded Australian Southern Railroad (ASR).

In 1999, GWA commenced operating services from Adelaide to Melbourne for Patrick Corporation. On 1 December 1999, GWA took over operation of the BHP network in Whyalla.

In December 2000, Australian Railroad Group (ARG), a 50-50 joint venture between Genesee & Wyoming and Wesfarmers took over the Westrail freight business in 

Western Australia with the operation rebranded Australian Western Railroad (AWR). As part of the joint venture agreement, ownership of ASR passed to the ARG. 

In 2002 both ASR and AWR were brought together under the ARG brand.

In May 2001, ARG commenced operating services from Adelaide to Sydney via Broken Hill and Cootamundra. In December 2003, it commenced operating services within New South Wales when it commenced a five year contract to hail flour, grain and starch for the Manildra Group.

On 1 June 2006, ARG sold its Western Australian operations to Queensland Rail and WestNet Rail. Simultaneously, Wesfarmers sold its 50% interest in the remainder of ARG to Genesee & Wyoming with the operation rebranded Genesee & Wyoming Australia.

In 2008 GWA signed a five-year deal with ABB Grain to haul grain trains in Victoria.

In June 2010 GWA purchased the assets of FreightLink from its receivers leading to GWA taking over operation of freight trains on the Adelaide–Darwin railway. After this transaction, GWA became the largest of the 11 Genesee & Wyoming operating regions around the world.

On 1 December 2016 GWA in conjunction with Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets (MIRA), acquired Glencore's Hunter Valley business. GWI concurrently issued a 49% equity stake in G&W Australia.

GWA already operated the Glencore rail assets with fellow Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary Freightliner already operating a 20-year contract, annually hauling some 40 million tonnes of coal to the Port of Newcastle.

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Operations

GWA operates trains on broad 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in), narrow 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) and standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) gauge lines throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory, and in New South Wales and Victoria. Major traffic flows include intermodal, grain, gypsum, iron ore, manganese, copper and other minerals over a 5,000-kilometre (3,100 mi) network.

When GWA operates over track networks owned by others, including networks owned by the Australian Government and state governments, the owners of the network rather than the operators are responsible for scheduling the use of the tracks as well as for determining the amount and timing of the expenditures necessary to maintain the network in satisfactory condition. Therefore, in areas where GWA operates over tracks owned by others, it is subject to train scheduling set by the owners as well as the risk that the network will not be adequately maintained.

In South Australia, if demand for services on a line ceases and no new demand eventuates, the rail track is classified as discontinued and put into a dormant state on care and maintenance for a period of five years. During this period GWA are responsible for ongoing care, security and maintenance that includes maintaining the working order of all equipment, i.e. level crossings, signals, controls and switches so that a train can operate within 24 hours notice and will reinstate at its own cost if an access seeker negotiates to return a train to operation. The discontinued track is transferred back to the South Australian Government after five years if services do not return.

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Lines

Under a 50-year contract that expires in 2047, GWA leases the following lines from the Government of South Australia:

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Broad Gauge
  • Gawler Central to Penrice - dormant since 24 June 2014
  • Gawler Central to Burra - non-operational since 2007
  • Hamley Bridge to Balaklava - non-operational
  • Roseworthy to Kapunda - non-operational
Genesee & Wyoming Australia Narrow Gauge
  • Port Lincoln to Wudinna - seasonal grain trains
  • Cummins to Kimba - seasonal grain trains
  • Thevenard to Kevin - daily gypsum trains
  • Yeelanna to Kapinnie - non-operational
  • Wudinna to Penong Junction at Ceduna - limited use (e.g. transiting locomotives for servicing in Port Lincoln, ballast trains)
  • Kimba to Buckleboo - non-operational
Genesee & Wyoming Australia Standard Gauge
  • Tailem Bend to Pinnaroo - seasonal grain trains ceased July 2015
  • Tailem Bend to Loxton - seasonal grain trains ceased July 2015
  • Monarto South to Apamurra - non-operational
Note: GWA also operates on the interstate Australian Rail Track Corporation standard gauge lines and provides train control functions for the northern Australia railway from Northgate Block Point (near Tarcoola in SA) to Berrimah freight terminal (near Darwin) which is owned by the Asia-Pacific Transport Consortium. Northgate Block Point is 510 km (320 mi) from Coonamia (Port Pirie) in SA and Berrimah freight terminal is 2,754 km (1,711 mi) from Coonamia. Add approximately 220 km (140 mi) for distances from Adelaide. The 50-year lease on the Adelaide–Darwin railway was transferred to GWA with the purchase of FreightLink in 2011.

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Locomotive fleet

As at October 2014, GWA owned 102 diesel-electric locomotives.

Class: GWA






















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