Now Tier 2 Lines in danger

 
  crisfitz Chief Commissioner

Location: Enroute somewhere
Grain rail chaos spreads north Brad Thompson, The West Australian October 12, 2013, 9:08 am





The Wheatbelt is facing more trucking hell with the crisis in the grain freight rail network spreading to a key line north of Perth.
The Tier 2 line has been downgraded to operate at half capacity and there are growing fears of more closures or partial closures for this season's harvest.
CBH will brief communities and shire councils on the likely impact next week. Even the best case scenario will see tens of thousands of extra truck movements on crumbing roads.
It is increasingly likely rail downgrades, section and line closures will impact on communities and road safety over a much bigger area than revealed so far, from Miling in the north to Narrogin in the south.
Concern has centred on Tier 3 lines - with leaseholder Brookfield Rail closing the Merredin to Trayning and Quairading to York routes. But the Tier 2 Miling to Bolgart line is on death row after its downgrade.
Brookfield has told CBH, which pays to cart grain on the rail network, the line will close within two years.
Nationals MLA Shane Love said it was an alarming development because in 2010 the State Government committed almost $190 million of taxpayers' money to ensure the future of Tier 1 and Tier 2 lines.
Mr Love said no money had been allocated to upgrade roads in his electorate in anticipation of extra road train movements.
He has written to Transport Minister Troy Buswell about the issue and is lobbying for details of the Government's controversial lease agreement with Brookfield to be made public.
"I think that with Tier 2 now under threat public interest demands there be an examination of the terms of that contract," Mr Love said.
"If taxpayers are being asked to invest to the extent that we have and growers are paying day-to-day access charges, we have a right to know exactly what the expectations are on us and what the expectations are on Brookfield."
An Auditor-General's report released this year was scathing of the Public Transport Authority's oversight of the lease. It revealed PTA advice that there was nothing to stop the tabling of the contract in Parliament.
CBH and Brookfield are poles apart on an agreement to keep remaining Tier 3 lines open, with grain growers weeks away from starting work in earnest on a bumper 13 million tonne harvest.
CBH logistics manager Andrew Mencshelyi said growers faced increased freight costs as a result of the Miling to Bolgart line downgrade. Districts on the line were expected to produce more than 370,000t this season and the downgrade would force much of it into road freight.
Brookfield Rail chief executive Paul Larsen said it would be inappropriate to respond to the claims while in confidential commercial negotiations with CBH.

Doesn't look good for other lines now.

In all fairness to Brookfield they did the work they were contracted to do, and they are a business. The social aspect is a government issue - and major works are also a government issue. Unfortunately the current state government is highly unlikely to come to the rescue whilst the books are tighter than ever.

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  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Is it really such a big step in logic that if CBH or Watco really want to operate these lines they should be given the opportunity to buy them? It would save a whole lot of buck passing and perhaps result in a rail solution to the WA government's cash flow issue...
  Northmetro Junior Train Controller

This is yet another example of the lack of a level playing field between road and rail. Regardless of the terms of the contract with Brookfield, the lines are as much public assets as the roads are. However it is politically easier for governments to allow the degradation of an asset the majority don't see first hand rather than look for more cost effective ways of maintaining roads. It's a short term gain because the transfer of freight on to roads will lead to more risk for existing road users, more congestion, pollution and noise, poorer road quality for all and a larger energy/carbon footprint.

Interestingly, when was the last time a road was closed or abandoned because it was too expensive to maintain?
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Interestingly, when was the last time a road was closed or abandoned because it was too expensive to maintain?
Northmetro

I really like this point.

Our government needs a smack in the chops for what their doing. And some.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Remember that this is a government that have published documentation through the DoT/DPTI stating that the avergae yearly cost of the damage done to the roads by a double road train hauling grain (that not covered by the fuel taxes, registration, etc - I mean, they really were reaching to find any possible cost or tax paid by these rigs) is slightly over $270,000 - per truck, per year, ongoing. The same report then goes on to state that the solution of requiring these truck to pay the full cost of the damage they doe to the roads is politically unfeasable, so another way must be found to cover those costs. Enter the poor saps in small light vehicles who must cross-subsidise the road damage costs of the big trucks.

Smae old issue, same old 'solutions', get ready for a network consisting of the Albany line, the Hyden line, the Goomalling lines, and the Geraldton lines, plus the Bunbury line and branches.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Forgot to add, the Miling line had three companies with iron ore tenements on it around Yerecoin and Calingiri - Yilgarn, Cliffs and Magentic Resources. Seems like the parties involved (Govt, PTA, Brookfield) may also be waiting to have some private companies pay the deferred maintenance and upgrading bills, rather than have to honour existing contracts under the lease agreements.
  8888 Chief Commissioner

Location: Shire of Mundaring
CBH are proposing around a 2% increase in freight rates for the 2013-4 harvest overall.  However, increases on the Tier 3 sites will be around the 5% mark, as will sites on the Miling line due to what CBH terms as constraints imposed by Brookfield Rail.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Remember that this is a government that have published documentation through the DoT/DPTI stating that the avergae yearly cost of the damage done to the roads by a double road train hauling grain (that not covered by the fuel taxes, registration, etc - I mean, they really were reaching to find any possible cost or tax paid by these rigs) is slightly over $270,000 - per truck, per year, ongoing.
Bulbous

Which report was that? I'd like to read it. I tried to find it online but couldnt.
  oldghan Station Master

This Buswell guy in Western Australia.  Is he really that dumb in as much as he must know the continued questioning over vital rail infrastructure to rural primary producers is important to Australia's competitive position at an exporter.

Why does this Liberal Government in WA continually put rail down or roads and trucks above the more efficient form of moving bulk goods?  Is there something in the water in WA?
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
This Buswell guy in Western Australia.  Is he really that dumb in as much as he must know the continued questioning over vital rail infrastructure to rural primary producers is important to Australia's competitive position at an exporter.

Why does this Liberal Government in WA continually put rail down or roads and trucks above the more efficient form of moving bulk goods?  Is there something in the water in WA?
oldghan

Mr Buswell was going to tear up the solar panel contracts which were signed for ten years for many West Australians, as a way to get more money. They quickly reversed that decision when they realised the war they were starting.

Colin Barnetts big idea for water for Perth was a canal from the ord river. Yes, and open canal. Not sure how the hell that would work but he thought it would. Neither it or a pipeline happened anyway. We got desal instead, and now I hear, the water corp is buying a wind farm to generate enough electricity to run it, or atleast reduce the running costs.

I wouldnt be surprised if the liberal government has family members in trucking or something like that. Farmers in the wheat belt were commiting suicide because of the financial state they were in. The liberals werent interested in helping them.

The liberal government is a mob of self centered useless wankers, promising the world, neglecting the essential, and delivering not much. I say again, the Elizabeth Quay project is marked up at $2.6B. Yet railway lines dont get the money they need. Figure that out.

And the trams idea. OMG. Trams are great, I love them. But their not for Perth IMO.

Our government needs a smack in the chops, a good smeg kicking.

It was going to cost 16M to rebuild the Picton Greenbushes line back in 2005. They spent 10 million rebuilding the Eelup roundabout, which in a few years will be redundant anyway.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Which report was that? I'd like to read it. I tried to find it online but couldnt.
DBclass
Will try to find it again, found it by accident trawling through old reports online one month during a slow period at work. There are also plenty of BITRE reports on the same issue, and they are usually easier to find during searches.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Remember guys, Buswell was the parliamentarian who decided to sniff the chair of a fellow female sitting member.  A disgrace.  For those who have not read the story: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/chair-sniffer-was-in-mock-sexual-ecstasy/story-e6frfkp9-1111116260465  this guy is abhorrent.  There is absolutely no excuse for that type of behaviour in our society let alone parliament.

THE woman at the centre of the seat-sniffing scandal involving West Australian Opposition Leader Troy Buswell says he writhed in mock sexual pleasure during the incident. The woman, who remains unnamed, told The West Australian newspaper Mr Buswell sniffed her chair twice within 10 minutes, while groaning and making "sexually satisfying noises". Mr Buswell has admitted sniffing the seat of the Liberal female staff member in an office at Perth's Parliament House in October 2005.
News.com.au said about the "SNIFFER"


Bring back McTiernan.  http://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-13245/  At least she gets it.

Regards
Brian
  8888 Chief Commissioner

Location: Shire of Mundaring
Reports out by CBH and in the West indicate that the current agreement between CBH and Brookfield expires on 30 June 2014.  Until then, the current situation will stand, though CBH have been told that no grain can be carted from sidings between Wickepin and Bruce Rock.  This section will remain open for empty wagon movements.

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