The Full Wiki

Pacific National: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pacific National Pty Ltd
Type Subsidiary
Founded 2002
Headquarters North Sydney, New South Wales,  Australia
Industry Rail
Products Bulk Services, Intermodal, Network and Operation Services
Parent Asciano Limited
Pacific National
Locale  Australia
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)
1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Headquarters North Sydney

Pacific National is one of Australia's largest private rail freight businesses. Originally a joint venture between Patrick Corporation and Toll Holdings; it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Asciano Limited following the restructure of Toll Holdings.


Beginnings and growth

Pacific National liveried NR class locomotive at Spotswood, Victoria

In February 2002, the mainly Australian Government-owned National Rail Corporation's freight operations and rollingstock were combined with the New South Wales Government-owned FreightCorp and sold to Toll Holdings and Patrick Corporation as Pacific National.

In 2004, Pacific National purchased Australian Transport Network Limited, operator of TasRail. In the same year, Pacific National also acquired Freight Australia, operator of freight services in Victoria, giving Pacific National control of the Victorian non-urban rail track, excluding the interstate network, which is controlled by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

As part of the sale conditions the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) attached special conditions to the sale to ensure competition in the rail freight industry.[1] The company was required to provide a 'starter pack' of locomotives, wagons, train paths, and freight terminals for a third part rail operator on the east-west route across the Nullarbor Plain. Pacific National has since leased to competitor Specialised Container Transport 9 refurbished G class diesel locomotives for use on SCT's trains, and is also required to continue the 'hook and pull' contract with SCT until their own locomotives arrive.[2]

In November 2006 Pacific National entered into an in-principle agreement to sell the remainder of its Victorian rail lease of the network back to the Victorian Government for $133.8m, during the caretaker period following the issuing of the writs for the 25 November 2006 Victorian State election.[3] The sale was completed on May 7, 2007, with state government owned V/Line managing the track.[4]

In 2006 Toll launched a hostile take-over of Patrick Corporation which was successful and saw Toll Holdings receive 100% ownership of Pacific National. In 2007 Toll Holdings was restructured into two separately ASX listed companies: Toll Holdings and Asciano Limited. Part of this restructure, Pacific National became a wholly owned subsidiary of Asciano Limited.[5]



Tasmania 2005

In September, 2005 Pacific National angered the Tasmanian State Government and the Australian Federal Government as it threatened to 'withdraw all services' unless the governments paid a $100 million subsidy.[6] This alarmed people of Tasmania because a pullout of rail services would result in thousands more trucks on already busy roads. Initially the governments refused to act on the issue claiming they would not be "held to mercy" by Pacific National, owned by Toll and Patrick Corporation, "which are extremely profitable multi-national companies". However, state infrastructure minister Bryan Green and federal counterpart transport minister Warren Truss announced a $120 million rescue package hoping the board will continue operation in the state.[7]. Though Pacific National was accused of bullying at the time, rail services in Tasmania have never been profitable and this was the reason the public freight rail service in Tasmania was sold to Pacific National.

In September 2009 the Tasmanian Government and Pacific National formally entered into a business sale agreement for purchase of the Tasmanian rail business, with rail infrastructure and railway operations to be maintained, managed and owned by a new State-owned rail company, the Tasmanian Railway Company.[8]

Rural services 2007

In December 2007 Pacific National announced plans to sell or close its grain transport and Portlink rural container business operations in Victoria, selling or closing Patrick's intermodal freight business in Tasmania, and downsizing to a bare minimum Pacific National's grain operations across New South Wales.[9] The decision has been criticised as it will force grain growers to use higher cost road transport to transport the annual grain harvest from rural silos to the ports.[10] The decision has seen many commentators accuse Pacific National of acquiring the operations of Freight Australia in 2004 only for the purposes of asset stripping and eliminating completion in rail freight.[11][12]

The company has told competitors wanting to acquire unwanted rolling stock from the company, that it would rather scrap wagons or export them to Saudi Arabia before they would be made available domestically.[13]

The container freight service to Horsham, Victoria was almost cancelled in April 2008 but was given a three month reprieve by the company.[14][15] In July 2008 the service was taken over by QRNational.[16]


'Bemax' containerised ore train near Mannahill, South Australia

Operating in all states and the Northern Territory, the company operates some 1,000 locomotives and 10,200 wagons over 100 different sites. Services include bulk freight (coal, grain, steel, ores), intermodal containers (domestic and export), and specialised services such as 'hook and pull' for long-distance passenger trains.

Pacific National has five separate operating divisions, which operate as separate companies for accounting reasons,[17] and often do not share locomotives with other divisions. The divisions are:[18]

  • Rural and Bulk: born out of the former FreightCorp and Freight Australia companies, major traffic include grain, fuel, agricultural products, and cement. Trains run on both standard and broad gauge.
  • Tasmania: former operations on the narrow gauge ATN (former TasRail) network.

The Pacific National steel contract was renewed with BlueScope Steel and OneSteel in 2006 for $1bn, making it the largest ever freight rail contract in Australia. The deal involves haulage of about 3 million tonnes of steel over seven years. [19] Pacific National has intermodal freight facilities at the Brisbane Freight Terminal in Queensland, the Melbourne Freight Terminal in Victoria, the Sydney Freight Terminal in New South Wales, and the Kewdale Freight Terminal in Western Australia.


A pair of G class locomotives in Melbourne
Pacific National operated cement train on the Victorian rail network using former Freight Australia locomotives

Pacific National operates a wide variety of locomotives and rolling stock acquired from predecessors. These include:

Rural and Bulk: (1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) and 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in))

Intermodal: (1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in))

Coal: (1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in))

Queensland: (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))

  • PN class: 13

Tasmania: (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in))


  1. ^ Sydney Morning Herald: 'ACCC won't oppose Freight Australia takeover' - July 2, 2004
  2. ^ Courier Mail: 'Toll boss bows to ACCC pressure' - December 13, 2005
  3. ^ "Toll sells rail lease". Canberra Times. 2 November 2006. pp. 17.  
  5. ^ "Toll Holdings Restructure". Toll Holdings. Retrieved 2007-10-02.  
  6. ^ "Govt signs off on Tassie rail package". ninemsn. 29 September 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-02.  
  7. ^ "Truss offers $78m rescue package for Tassie Rail". Department of Transport and Regional Services (Australia). 12 December 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-02.  
  8. ^ Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (September 7, 2009). "DIER: Business Sale Agreement for purchase of the Tasmanian rail business". Retrieved 2009-11-16.  
  9. ^ "Pacific National to sell or close rail freight business". ABC News website. December 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-17.  
  10. ^ "Asciano delivers grain haulage shock to farmers". Herald and Weekly Times website. December 12, 2007.,21985,22909741-664,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-17.  
  11. ^ "Loco Lines" (PDF). Newsletter for Locomotive Enginemen of the Rail, Tram & Bus Union – Victoria. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-17.  
  12. ^ "Freight Australia Exiting". Railpage Australia forums. December 12, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-17.  
  13. ^ Philip Hopkins (March 21, 2008). "Off the rails". The Age. Retrieved 2008-06-22.  
  14. ^ "Rail freight woes spark crisis of confidence". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-07-16.  
  15. ^ "Three month extension for Wimmera rail freight services". ABC News. April 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-16.  
  16. ^ "Rail to roll on". Wimmera Mail Times. 2008-07-28. Retrieved 2008-07-30.  
  17. ^ "Pacific National Policy Manual" (PDF). Essential Services Commission: Victoria. Retrieved 2008-03-03.  
  18. ^ "Pacific National Werris Creek Headquarters". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 2008-03-03.  
  19. ^ "PacNat wins $1bn freight deal". 18 December 2006.,23636,20945130-462,00.html. Retrieved 2006-12-18.  

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address