Starting from Sunday February 22nd, control of the container shuttle from Yennora to Port Botany will again change hands from Interail to P&O Trans Australia. This is the third operator in twelve months to run the service, which typically departs Yennora Distribution Park just after the morning freight curfew ends, and runs to Port Botany via Enfield. In the first few months of 2008, the service was run by Patricks Portlink, until the completion of their contract, at which point it passed under the banner of Interail – QRNationals interstate intermodal carrier brand. It now passes from Interail to P&O Trans Australia – a new operator in NSW. QRNational and P&O (owned by Dubai Ports World) have a close history of contracts for rail transport in Australia.
CFCLA recently sold their 44 Class fleet (4468,4471,4477 and 4483 – although only 4471 and 4477 were in service at the time of the sale) to P&O Trans Australia, which saw 4471 and 4477 sent to Junee Roundhouse Workshops (JRW) for repainting. At the time of writing, the units have now returned to Sydney, the only change being that 71 and 77 have had their CFCLA logos painted out – they still remain in the CFCLA scheme for now.
With the change of operator, the train numbers change again, with T280 expected to be the first train to be run by P&O Trans Australia to depart Yennora on Monday the 23rd of February. Standard motive class is expected to be a pair of 44 Class (ie 4471 and 77) but it is unclear at this stage where the locomotives will be maintained, and what motive power will be used when one or both units are out of service for maintenence.
Watch this space for further information.