Inland railway Melbourne - Brisbane

 
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I would like to know what volume of freight is currently traveling between Melbourne and Brisbane (north) that doesnt need to go via Sydney but could be sent along this 'North South' corridor.
What comes from Brisbane and north to the south and west, ie SA and WA and where is it routed, via Dubbo to Parkes then west or via Junee and then to Parkes to head west.
Also what volume of freight Sydney receives or dispatches to the north and south.
Although the shortest route, very little traffic is sent over the Mountains (Main West) due to many reasons and I doubt that will change any in the near future.

This 'North South' corridor is like the 'Very Fast Train', being raised from the ashes every time someone want a bit of publicity.

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  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
People are reading far more into this than is actually there.
Both Govts have "supported" the building of the Inland line since the Howard era.
What "supported" however seems to mean is that they want the line to be built, but want someone else to pay for it.
A bit like the model the Alice Springs to Darwin used.
Putting up funds to show that something seems to be happening is always the start to see if any private sector capital can then be leveraged from the Govt investment.
You will know the line is serious , when both the NSW and QLD Govts publickly show their support as well, as without their support it dont happen.
Why doesnt ARTC pay for the line by borrowing the money, and then recovering the costs via Track access charges.
The NBN is being built on borrowed money borrowed by NBNCO.
Its not budgeted for.
After the election, regardless of who wins , dont expect to hear any more about this line for another 3 years.
MD

Like most discussions about rail, funding is that elephant in the room. The route/engineering/operations are the easy bits.

As I've previously pointed out ARTC does borrow however it just can't go out and borrow as much as it likes. They still need to cover interest costs whilst the thing is built then repay capital and interest from revenue whilst maintaining the thing. However companies do raise capital by issuing more shares (as ARTC has done in the past). If the government can't or won't buy in perhaps a partial float Idea

You could always try one of those secret PPP arrangements where guvmnt underwrites all the risk Twisted Evil but as far as pollies are concerned it ain't no city tunnel/motorway or NBN.

I can't see how the Nats can promise to build it by 2026 without any firm funding commitment beyond the $300m already promised by both sides. Another tree planting in 3 years time perhaps Wink
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
I would like to know what volume of freight is currently traveling between Melbourne and Brisbane (north) that doesnt need to go via Sydney but could be sent along this 'North South' corridor.
What comes from Brisbane and north to the south and west, ie SA and WA and where is it routed, via Dubbo to Parkes then west or via Junee and then to Parkes to head west.
Also what volume of freight Sydney receives or dispatches to the north and south.
Although the shortest route, very little traffic is sent over the Mountains (Main West) due to many reasons and I doubt that will change any in the near future.

This 'North South' corridor is like the 'Very Fast Train', being raised from the ashes every time someone want a bit of publicity.
gordon_s1942

Troll the ARTC site - Inland Rail Alignment Study

http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=175&cp=175

Enough Megabytes to keep you going for hours Wink
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Operationally I'd like to see how it comes out in front .
I can only think of two trains that run between Melbourne and Brisbane without shunting/interchanging anywhere and they are PNs MB4 and BM4 . It seems that most Aurison trains interchange at Glenlee (sp ?) and PN ones at Chullora so how many services are going to gain much from an inland route ?

Shuttle services to Newcastle Sydney Wollongong from Goobang will not happen because its shorter quicker cheaper to send this traffic via the current route .
Same old same old , build and expand upon the Short North projects and make a direct route from Fassifern to Dungog . Still far cheaper than the Inland route and can be introduced in stages so runs on the board realised sooner .
I don't think most people realise the complete and utter stupidity of sending interstate trains all the way into Broadmeadow then all the way back out to Telarah . Like I keep telling you interstate trucks don't run via Broadmeadow and back out to Telarah to head north . It wastes hours and lots of them being trucked over by Sydney/NSWs trains and getting SFA priority even when the operator pays for it . Fassi Dungog isn't so different from SSFL , single line with passing loops and no interference from EMUs/DMUs . It'd need a flyover to grade seperate the main and coal roads but hey they've been built in recent years .
ARTC and the interstate rail freight operators would get better overall bang for buck doing it this way because plenty of infrastructure improvements are up and running between Coota and Fassi and North of Dungog . Plenty of modest deviations can be constructed and introduced relatively quickly where to build the inland route takes considerable time and I imagine charges to use it would be considerable .

It's all a question of money and I think you stand a better chance of getting it if you can show the pollies that it's cheaper and gets the government of the day bragging rights sooner . Rail has to learn to play the game just like anyone else .
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
It's all a question of money and I think you stand a better chance of getting it if you can show the pollies that it's cheaper and gets the government of the day bragging rights sooner .
"BDA"
This is so true it's not even funny.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
This is so true it's not even funny.
Watson374

Because "building the infrastructure of the future" = ROADS
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Operationally I'd like to see how it comes out in front .
...
BDA
Too much to dissect here http://www.artc.com.au/library/IRAS_Appendix_B.pdf but certainly more freight than currently moved by rail.

Assuming freight will continue to grow at the projected levels the Inland Railway (as proposed) seems self sustaining for Melb-Bris direct. With B triples on the Hume and later the Pacific, the Sydney rail component will be squeezed further.

All comes back to money and you need to spend much more that $5b on the coastal route. Still think $5b is too rich for pollies anyway Rolling Eyes
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Too much to dissect here http://www.artc.com.au/library/IRAS_Appendix_B.pdf but certainly more freight than currently moved by rail.

Assuming freight will continue to grow at the projected levels the Inland Railway (as proposed) seems self sustaining for Melb-Bris direct. With B triples on the Hume and later the Pacific, the Sydney rail component will be squeezed further.

All comes back to money and you need to spend much more that $5b on the coastal route. Still think $5b is too rich for pollies anyway Rolling Eyes
cootanee
Why does the coastal route need more than $5 billion spent on it?
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Why does the coastal route need more than $5 billion spent on it?
MD


You have to go way back to 2006 to the original North-South Corridor Study. http://www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/publications/reports/north_south_corridor.aspx

It's moot anyway since 2008 when the scope was laid down for Stage 1 of the Inland Rail study  (noting Stage 3 is now completed)

"In March 2008 the Australian Government announced that the Australian Rail Track
Corporation (ARTC) had been asked to conduct the Melbourne-Brisbane Inland Rail
Alignment Study.
The announcement stated that in developing a detailed route alignment, the ARTC would
generally follow the far western sub-corridor identified by the previous North-South Rail
Corridor Study"

http://www.artc.com.au/library/IRAS_WP3%20Stage%201%20Capital%20Works%20Costings.pdf
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Certainly the tonneage forecasts for what is referred to as "contestable" rail freight show that the opportunities for rail to make severe inroads on rods market share are very strong.  Rail is seriously coming off a very low base on north - south traffic at the moment so the combination of increasing mode shift to rail plus the overall increase in transport requirtements generally make this a very sizeable opportunity.

The reduction of 7 to 8 hours in transit time has a major impact on the utilisation of locomotives and wagons.  The current "cycle" times mean that most consists basically get one roiund trip per week plus 1 x one way leg.  Lets call that 3 sectors.   The reduction in transit time proposed means that the same equpment gets 2 round trips that's 4 sectors per week.  Given the very high cost of locomtives and wagons when you're talking of 3 locos and a 1750 metre long train mean that the cost of capital to be able to carry more tonneage becomes significantly lower.

The provision of standard gauge from northern NSW into Brisbane also significantly improves the competiveness of export cargo out of that region into Brisbane.  The inland rail route also means more export related traffic can be tapped closer to its actual source where its produced.

One only has to look at the tonneages moving out of Griffith/Leeton to Melbourne to see what could be generated elsewhere along the corridor.

Equally importantly the constraints of operating through Sydney and having to compete for train paths through to Broadmeadow/Maitland even with the benefit of the Southern Freight line now completed and the northern freight corridor underway construction are entirely eliminated.

This is a project if undertaken to the very high standard proposed by the private sector consortium rather than than the ARTC option that simply fills in gaps would without doubt really revolutionise rails position similar to what has happened between the East and WA.   The tonneages north-south are far greater than east - west.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Certainly the tonneage forecasts for what is referred to as "contestable" rail freight show that the opportunities for rail to make severe inroads on rods market share are very strong.  Rail is seriously coming off a very low base on north - south traffic at the moment so the combination of increasing mode shift to rail plus the overall increase in transport requirtements generally make this a very sizeable opportunity.

The reduction of 7 to 8 hours in transit time has a major impact on the utilisation of locomotives and wagons.  The current "cycle" times mean that most consists basically get one roiund trip per week plus 1 x one way leg.  Lets call that 3 sectors.   The reduction in transit time proposed means that the same equpment gets 2 round trips that's 4 sectors per week.  Given the very high cost of locomtives and wagons when you're talking of 3 locos and a 1750 metre long train mean that the cost of capital to be able to carry more tonneage becomes significantly lower.

The provision of standard gauge from northern NSW into Brisbane also significantly improves the competiveness of export cargo out of that region into Brisbane.  The inland rail route also means more export related traffic can be tapped closer to its actual source where its produced.

One only has to look at the tonneages moving out of Griffith/Leeton to Melbourne to see what could be generated elsewhere along the corridor.

Equally importantly the constraints of operating through Sydney and having to compete for train paths through to Broadmeadow/Maitland even with the benefit of the Southern Freight line now completed and the northern freight corridor underway construction are entirely eliminated.

This is a project if undertaken to the very high standard proposed by the private sector consortium rather than than the ARTC option that simply fills in gaps would without doubt really revolutionise rails position similar to what has happened between the East and WA.   The tonneages north-south are far greater than east - west.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Again same old . Unlike the road an inland route will be a single line so I doubt very much it would be as time competitive as double lane roads .
Also if you introduce rail traffics closer to Brisbane , or anywhere along an inland route , do the total distance trains suffer pathing issues ?

If you bypass the present Fassi Broadmeadow Maitland Dungog section interstate trains would not be competing with EMU/DMU/XPTs or other north south freight trains accessing Pt Waratah/Kooragang/or even the North Western lines - between Fassi and Dungog .
The present route here has IMO greater issues than Macarthur to Sefton Jct had pre SSFL , there the lowest speed was 35 km/h at Sefton Park junction where at Islington Junction and the south end of Broadmeadow Yard its 25 km/h . For up trains you block the up and down main lines for this slugged speed at Isso and Broady . Small wonder NSW Trains has you standing round for ages at these locations and long spells in Broadmeadow yard are not at all unusual .
The high speed main lines between Sandgate and Maitland are a complete and utter waste for interstate freighters because you always , ALWAYS , get put out behind the all stations ship box DMU at Islington Jct or Maitland . Worse , they will hold you at these locations for the privilege of following the bendy bus .

People must think that freighters are slow between Sydney and Dungog because the alignments are bad . In truth they're not flash in places but by far the biggest stumbling blocks are Sydney Trains/NSW Trains EMUs and DMUs .
SSFL works because EMUs/DMUs effectively can't use it and there is nowhere else to go other than Leightonfield yard or the goods roads at Enfield West . Bypassing ALL the DMUs/EMUs/XPTs traffic wise alone would be a huge leg up for interstate trains from Fassi to Dungog - AND it would be a shorter more direct route - MORE time savings .
  Hendo Deputy Commissioner

Someone questioned the viability of an inland route given that there are only two Aurizon trains currently operating scheduled services. True, but once an inland rail route is completed rail can then effectively compete against the B-Doubles that have 90% of the freight running between the cities on the Newell Highway.

Someone will need to have a serious talking to to QR, the Port of Brisbane and Aurizon though, as rail at the Port is not set up for taking much in the way of containers; 95% of container movements are by road. You are lucky to see more than one container train go there per week. Aurizon have a small container transhipment yard in the centre of Fisherman's Island, PN, Qube etcetra are shut out of there at the moment. The yard is between the major ring road with no unimpeded access to each of the stevedore company's dockside and there is no loading facility for vehicles. The major traffic is coal and will be for years, even after the inland railway is finished.


Cheers,
Hendo
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
The NSFC investigations identified a further 15 projects, however these would not be required until 2028 (assuming funding would be available). According to Truss, the Inland Railway will be operational by then.

The NSFC Strategy confirmed that the Inland Railway will emulate the Newell for Melb-Bris freight, will be more competitive relative to Newell road freight with better transit time, reliability, availability and door to door freight prices.

I suspect pollies are putting their faith in B-Triples for the Sydney freight component and you won't see anymore big money on those tracks. Not convinced the inland railway will be up and running by 2026 either Rolling Eyes
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Always assuming funds are made available . I can identify dozens of projects that would allow better transit times for freight trains on the short north . Who knows what the landscape will look like in 2028 , depends what form of projection NSFC investigators are using ...

I doubt a single line railway will ever be competitive with the Newell highway , except of course if it's reduced to a single bi directional lane .
Transit time - nope , trucks don't stop for opposing movements .
Reliability , nope - if part of the Newell is shut you can get around that . If the Inland rail is blocked it's a long way back to go anywhere .
Availability ? My moneys on a road with other alternatives around it .

The sad fact is that there is no easy handling facilities for 1800m trains in Melbourne or Brisbane so distribution is difficult for rail traffic . Semis and B Doubles can generally go direct to/from the customers and don't need huge handling yards . So basically if these capitals aren't set up for long freighters it's pointless taking them there .
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Maybe they think that if it works for long haul Adl-Perth.

I can't see Guvmnt putting up almost $5b on any freight line.
2028 isn't that far away considering 2000 is still fresh in memory (even 1995 - the first time in relatively recent times they spent any sort of money on the DIRN!).
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Maybe they think that if it works for long haul Adl-Perth.

I can't see Guvmnt putting up almost $5b on any freight line.
2028 isn't that far away considering 2000 is still fresh in memory (even 1995 - the first time in relatively recent times they spent any sort of money on the DIRN!).
cootanee
With the crazy NP likely to be in power after next Saturday any idiotic scheme is likely to get the nod. Rail to Ord River anyone? Be very afraid. The NP and Katter and Palmer would make a great loony group. We could have Titanic schemes all over the place.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Someone will need to have a serious talking to to QR, the Port of Brisbane and Aurizon though, as rail at the Port is not set up for taking much in the way of containers; 95% of container movements are by road. You are lucky to see more than one container train go there per week. Aurizon have a small container transhipment yard in the centre of Fisherman's Island, PN, Qube etcetra are shut out of there at the moment. The yard is between the major ring road with no unimpeded access to each of the stevedore company's dockside and there is no loading facility for vehicles. The major traffic is coal and will be for years, even after the inland railway is finished.
Hendo
Open to correction on all that follows (i.e. I'm very possibly completely wrong).

I think the "small container transhipment yard" you refer to is actually the Brisbane Multimodal Terminal (BMT), which is operated by the port itself as a common user style facility.  If rail operators other than Aurison are not using it then that's because they don't have sufficient custom for that service, rather than being shut out.  I think state and federal competition bodies would get very excited very quickly if one particular rail operator was able to exclude other operators from such a facility.

That terminal effectively has reasonable access to all the port related facilities via the port road network.  A large number of containers are already shuffled around between sites at the port (perhaps by conditionally registered vehicles) on that road network.  The logic of having one single rail terminal rather than service to each facility is that you get economies of scale with your trains, at perhaps the cost of some re-handling at the port.  The terminal can also be easily used by industries that are located over that side of Brisbane to load containers onto trains.

The market share of rail then probably reflects more where the containers are going (mostly local deliveries to south east Queensland), rather than port infrastructure limits.

I don't think this is all that relevant for the inland rail anyway, because, again just my understanding, land bridging wouldn't happen to any great extent with the distance between Melbourne and Brisbane.  If you are overseas and you want to send a container to Brisbane, you put it on a ship to Brisbane, while if you want to send it to Melbourne, you put it on a ship to Melbourne (it might be the same ship, doing a milk run down the east coast of Australia).  If there's no direct shipping service from origin to destination, then the container would more likely be transhipped at one of the big shipping ports (Singapore, Hong Kong, etc) onto an appropriate ship.

Aspects of this inland route strike me as "giving up" on the coastal corridor and the Sydney-xxx services.  I'm not sure that's a good thing, but the problem is that fixing Sydney (particularly to the north) is expensive, and fixing the rest of the northern half of the coastal route isn't cheap either.  For example, I know BDA likes the Fassifern-Stroud Road link, but that doesn't make it into the list of upgrade projects for the coastal corridor until someone volunteers well over $3 billion of extra investment for the corridor (spend on the entire Melbourne - Sydney bit, not just the short north).  The sequence that the various upgrade projects are selected is interesting - see the North-South corridor study for details.

(Some of that $3 billion might have already been spent with the recent Victorian resleepering works, not sure.)
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
With the crazy NP likely to be in power after next Saturday any idiotic scheme is likely to get the nod. Rail to Ord River anyone? Be very afraid. The NP and Katter and Palmer would make a great loony group. We could have Titanic schemes all over the place.
nswtrains
Talk is free. I was always hopeful that Deputy Tim and various NP transport ministers during the Howard years would deliver for rail because they did talk the talk.  

Reality saw the the Inland Rail get a well publicized tree planting then years allowed to pass before ARTC was asked to do that NS Study. Even the NSW ARTC Lease was hugely under-estimated/funded for the work required.

The Nationals convincing anyone to part with $5b is hardly likely.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

The Nationals convincing anyone to part with $5b is hardly likely.
cootanee
I used to think that about the Alice-Darwin line.  

The money offered to build the thing from the SA/NT/Fed gvts was always strategically short of the Private sector contribution making the line viable.  This turned out to be true even after construction.  Someone, no doubt having no knowledge of what they were being sold, took a big haircut.
  petey3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: On the rails
You are lucky to see more than one container train go there per week (to Fisherman Islands/Port of Brisbane).


Well, actually, there are generally one to two container trains to the Port per day coming from/going to the north.

Y844/Y874 run most days to the Port from the North, Y355 runs most days from the Port to the North. 6H24 runs from the Port to Toowoomba and west (Goondawindi??) once a week with the return service (68xx) returning to Port once a week.
  br30453 Chief Train Controller

Well, actually, there are generally one to two container trains to the Port per day coming from/going to the north.

Y844/Y874 run most days to the Port from the North, Y355 runs most days from the Port to the North. 6H24 runs from the Port to Toowoomba and west (Goondawindi??) once a week with the return service (68xx) returning to Port once a week.
petey3801

But no standard gauge container trains that were going to magically appear once the standard gauge was extended to the port.

There was talk of cars being unloaded at the Port and being shipped south by rail but again nothing eventuated.

It's all about smoke and mirrors, promises, promises, promises.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
I used to think that about the Alice-Darwin line.  

The money offered to build the thing from the SA/NT/Fed gvts was always strategically short of the Private sector contribution making the line viable.  This turned out to be true even after construction.  Someone, no doubt having no knowledge of what they were being sold, took a big haircut.
djf01


This Inland Railway based on the cheap route will be more expensive than AS-Dar. I suspect that the cost estimate will rise to $7b.
There doesn't seem to be a mass of private sector investors clambering to get involved.
Nevertheless it would be a nice nation building initiative.

In three years time there will be $300m on the table for a future inland railway!
As for how much more ARTC gets from the next federal guvmnt to spend on the existing line Question
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

But no standard gauge container trains that were going to magically appear once the standard gauge was extended to the port.

There was talk of cars being unloaded at the Port and being shipped south by rail but again nothing eventuated.

It's all about smoke and mirrors, promises, promises, promises.
"br30453"


That's because the existing standard gauge route doesn't go through anywhere other than Sydney that can generate container traffic...and there's already a container port there. Via the Newell corridor the Inland line will pass through Australia's most productive agricultural hinterland. Much of the ag container traffic moving through Botany could move through Brisbane instead. The Newell corridor is the biggest road freight haul market in the country not paralleled by a railway...those trucks means there's freight, nearly thirty million tonnes in fact.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Spot on.  I refer to my earlier posts.   Rail currently has a market share in the very low teens (not precisely sure of the number) of "contestable freight" on the north-south corridor.  Contestable meaning that freight that could be on rail if the transit times, reliability and cost are competive.

For example freight moving out of the Griffith-Leeton area by rail has quite a high market share because the route is pretty reliable, transit time is comparable, the traffic is moving directly from terminal to terminal and the price per container is lower than road.  If you look at similar flows all the way along the corridor you'll find there are a number of generators of traffic similar to this.

There is in addition to this the actual through north - south traffic and then there is the interaction with the shipping companies who would prefer to minimise the numnber of ports they service on the east coast and have instead the loading redirected by rail.  Clearly the service, price and reliability elements are all fundemental to that, which only new high standard line suited to double stacking can deliver.

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