The ongoing $32m deal to transfer back the ownership of Tasmania’s rail network from Australian firm Asciano to the state government is on track despite the first deadline being missed on 30 July, say government officials.

The deadline was set for the sale of the Asciano subsidiary Pacific National Tasmania-owned Melba Line.

The next deadline has been set for 30 November and the government insists the deadline will be met as sale negotiations are on course.

The government says the transfer of assets, rolling stock, contracts and staff is complex, and has not yet disclosed how funds will be sourced.

The deal is an effort by the state government to keep the rail service running after its troubled operator Asciano threatened to close its lines.