Genesee & Wyoming Australia

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Genesee & Wyoming Australia
Industry Railway operator
Predecessor Australian National
Founded 2006
Headquarters Kilburn, South Australia
Area served
Northern Territory
South Australia
Key people
Greg Pauline (MD)
Parent Genesee & Wyoming Inc

Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd (GWA) is an Australian rail freight operator company. It is a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of the US company Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI). It was incorporated in February 2000 as an Australian private company based in Kilburn, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia[1], although it did not commence operations until 1 June 2006.[2]:34

The parent company was first involved in Australia in 1997, when its then subsidiary GWI Australia Pty Ltd acquired the assets of freight rail business of the Australian National Railways Commission in South Australia from the Australian Government.[3]

In June 2006, the Australian Railroad Group joint venture was dissolved. The Western Australian operation was sold to Queensland Rail and Babcock & Brown Limited. Wesfarmers sold their 50 per cent share in the South Australian operation back to Genesee & Wyoming Inc.[4] The operation was rebranded as Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA).

After acquiring the 2,200 kilometres (1,400 mi) Tarcoola-to-Darwin railway in 2010, GWA became the largest of the 11 GWI operating regions around the world.[3]


700 class leading a Penrice Stone Train through Birkenhead in June 2005
CL class leads a GM class and two 22 class locomotives near Geelong in July 2007

In August 1997, when GWI bought Australian National's South Australian intrastate freight operations, the company created a wholly owned subsidiary, Australia Southern Railroad Pty Ltd (ASR).[5][6] Operations commenced in November 1997 with the operation branded Australian Southern Railroad.[7][3]

In 1999, GWA commenced operating services from Adelaide to Melbourne for Patrick Corporation.[8] On 1 December 1999, GWA took over operation of the BHP network in Whyalla.[9]

In October 2000, Australian Railroad Group, a 50-50 joint venture between Genesee & Wyoming and Wesfarmers, was the successful bidder for the Westrail freight business in Western Australia.[10][11] As part of the joint venture agreement, ownership of Australian Southern Railroad passed to the Australian Railroad Group.

On 1 June 2006 GWI and Wesfarmers (its Australian joint venture partner) sold their Western Australian operations and other assets of their affiliate, Australian Railroad Group (ARG), in which each had a 50 per cent share, for $US218.8 million net gain.[2]:34 Simultaneously, Wesfarmers sold GWA, for $US 15.1 million, their 50 per cent ownership of "substantially all" of ARG’s operations in South Australia.[2]:34 GWA acquired a 50-year lease from the South Australian Government, which expires in 2047.[2]:27

In 2008 GWA signed a five-year deal with ABB Grain to haul grain trains in Victoria.[12]

In June 2010 Genesee & Wyoming Inc. purchased the assets of FreightLink from its receivers leading to GWA taking over operation of freight trains on the Adelaide–Darwin railway.[13][14][15]

On 1 December 2016 GWI, in conjunction with the largest infrastructure fund in the world, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), acquired Australian company Glencore Rail (NSW) Pty Ltd ("GRail") for A$1.14 billion (US$845 million). GWI concurrently issued a 48.9% equity stake in G&W Australia Holdings LP ("GWAHLP") to MIRA. GWAHLP is the partnership that holds all of GWI’s Australian businesses (collectively, GWA).[16]:7

A commentator considered the acquisition would create more competition for rival rail haulage groups Aurizon and Pacific National in NSW's Hunter Valley. GWA already operated the Glencore rail assets within a 20-year contract, annually hauling some 40 million tonnes of coal to the Port of Newcastle.[17]

Through the acquisition and MIRA partnership, the size of GWA was effectively doubled, with a A$2 billion valuation of the combined business. [16]:15


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 12 in) gauge lines throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory, and in New South Wales and Victoria.[18][17] Major traffic flows include intermodal, grain, gypsum, iron ore, manganese, copper and other minerals over a 5,000-kilometre (3,100 mi) network.[19]

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.[2]:24

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.[20]


Under a 50-year contract that expires in 2047[2]:27, GWA leases the following lines from the Government of South Australia:[21]

Broad Gauge[edit]

Narrow Gauge[edit]

Standard Gauge[edit]

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.

Locomotive fleet[edit]

As at October 2014, GWA owned 102 diesel-electric locomotives.[25]

Class Image No.
Gauge Max.
when new;
500 500 class South Australian Loco.jpg 1 Standard 80 1964 SAR
(500 class)
700 Penrice limestone train, Tanunda.JPG 3 Standard 115 1971 SAR
(700 class)
830 830 class loco-South Australia-1983.jpg 2 10 Broad,
115 1960–
(830 class)
900 Penrice limestone train2.jpg 6 Broad,
115 1960–
(830 class
DA variant)
1200 AA1517 Kelmscott-Challis, 1986 cropped.jpg 2 Narrow 1960–
(A class)
1300 4 Narrow 1956–
(DE class)
1600 1606 Thevenard, 2017 (01).jpg 3 1 Narrow 1971 CR
(NJ class)
1900 D 1562 Bunbury Port, 2004.jpg 1 Narrow 1972 WAGR
(D class)
2200 Nsw-asr-2208-newport.jpg 5 Standard 115 1969–
Dept of

(422 class)
ALF 7 Standard 115 1976–
(AL class)
CK VR-T413.jpg 4 Narrow 100 1967–
(T class)
CLF Arg-intermodal-lara-australia.jpg 2 Standard 115 1970–
(CL class)
CLP G&W-grain-train-geelong-australia.jpg 4 Standard 115 1970–
(CL class)
FJ J104 Forrestfield, 1986.JPG 2 Standard 115 1966 WAGR
(J class)
FQ Arrival of the first Ghan into Darwin.jpg 4 Standard 115 2003 FreightLink
(FQ class)
GM GM43 train.JPG 1 9 Standard 115 1965–
(GM class)
GWA SCT-class-locomotive.jpg 10 Standard 115 2011–
(GWA class)
GWN QRNATIONAL 4140.JPG 5 Narrow 100 2012 GWA
(GWN class)
GWU ARG AC4305 North Dynon.jpg 9 Standard 115 2012 GWA
(GWU class)


  1. ^ "Historical details for ABN 17 079 444 296". ABN Lookup. Australian Business Register. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Annual Report 2006 (PDF). Darien, Connecticut, United States: Genesee & Wyoming Inc. 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c "GWA history". Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd (GWA). Genesee & Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 
  4. ^ Sale of Australian Railroad Group Wesfarmers 14 February 2006
  5. ^ "AN Sale: Private Owners Go From Zero to Three" Railway Digest October 1997 page 8
  6. ^ "Australia Southern Railroad" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin August 2000 pp283-284
  7. ^ "Genesee and Wyoming Starts up with New Name" Railway Digest December 1997 page 8
  8. ^ "ASR Rail Shuttle Takes Trucks out of Port Adelaide" Railway Digest September 1999 page 15
  9. ^ "ASR Takes Over BHP Whyalla Steel Lines" Railway Digest January 2000 page 13
  10. ^ "Australian Railroad Group buys Westrail freight" Railway Digest October 2000 page 23
  11. ^ Company History Wesfarmers
  12. ^ "ABB Grain in five-year deal with GWA" Sydney Morning Herald 17 September 2008
  13. ^ FreightLink-owned Adelaide-Darwin railway to be sold to US company Genesee & Wyoming Adelaide Advertiser 9 June 2010
  14. ^ Genesee & Wyoming Signs Deal to Acquire Freightlink 11 June 2010
  15. ^ "Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Signs Agreement to Acquire FreightLink". PRNewswire. 9 June 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Genesee & Wyoming Inc. Annual Report 2016 (PDF). Darien, Connecticut, United States: Genesee & Wyoming Inc. 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Wiggins, Jenny (20 October 2016). "Genesee & Wyoming $1.1b GRail win opens NSW rail haulage to competition". Financial Review. Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 14 October 2017. 
  18. ^ Western Victorian Railfan Guide
  19. ^ Genesee & Wyoming Australia Rail Operations Genesee & Wyoming Inc
  20. ^ "Freight Study and Rail Operations Investigation" "Regional Development Australia - Murraylands and Riverland Inc" 17 November 2014
  21. ^ Network map Genesee & Wyoming Australia
  22. ^ "Penrice soda ash plant at Osborne closing" ABC News 24 June 2014
  23. ^ "Penrice stoney and SBR iron trains cease" Railway Digest August 2014 page 19
  24. ^ a b "Mallee rail lines to be used this season" Railway Digest October 2014 page 20
  25. ^ "Australia Wide Fleet List 2014" Motive Power issue 96 November 2014 pages 67-68