The Tasmanian and Federal Governments entered into an agreement for the transfer of the Tasmanian Railways to the Australian National Railways Commission on 1 July 1975 but until the "Declared Date" on 1 March 1978 Tasmania continued to administer, maintain and operate the railway system as an agent acting on behalf of the Commission. The operating agency, Transport Commission Tasmania, continued to administer and operate the system as an agent of the Commission until the Commission assumed full control of the Tasmanian Government Railways on 1 March 1978.
Under Section 10 of the Railways (Tasmania) Act 1975 the Commission is authorised to operate railways in Tasmania. Under this agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmania Governments the Commission may administer, maintain and operate railways and services in Tasmania, as well as construct and extend railways in Tasmania and administer, maintain and operate railways so constructed or extended.
The Australian National Railway Commission sold the assets of AN Tasrail to a private consortium, trading as Tasrail Pty Ltd, which began operations on Saturday 15 November 1997. The land over which the track is laid reverted to the State Government of Tasmania.