A RAIL war has broken out between the two companies competing for a billion dollar Federal Government loan.
Indian mining giant Adani has accused Aurizon of running a rail monopoly and "stifling hope" in regional Queensland after the company claimed it could build a Galilee Basin coal line for $1 billion less than the mining company.
Adani and Aurizon have both applied for government funding to build rail lines connecting the Abbot Point coal terminal with the Galilee Basin coal fields through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund.
Aurizon chief Andrew Harding told the Melbourne Mining Club the proposed Aurizon line would cover 190km and cost less than Adani's proposed 380km track as it would use existing rail infrastructure.
"We estimate that construction costs of our proposal would be at least $1 billion less than the alternative of a standalone 'greenfield railway' running 380km from the Galilee to Abbot Point," he said.
"Aurizon's proposal would significantly reduce the number of land acquisitions and have less impact on the natural environment and agricultural land.
"The Adani proposal would cost more than $1 billion than the Aurizon option of tapping into an installed and efficient infrastructure asset."
But in a statement, an Adani spokesman said Aurizon's plan was designed to "stifle hope" among regional Queenslanders.
"The so-called plan is a smokescreen aimed at defending Aurizon's expensive monopoly of coal rail lines in Queensland. Adani challenges the veracity of the $1 billion saving," the spokesman said.
"The Aurizon plan is designed to instil fear and stifle hope in the people of regional Queensland."
The spokesman said Aurizon's capital and operation expenditure using a narrow gauge line would be higher than Adani's proposed standard gauge line.
The Adani statement also said they were yet to receive any commercial proposal from Aurizon.
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