Push to link Coast along rail line

 
  Amraks Junior Train Controller

THE Coast could be linked by a shared pathway network. Greens Braddon MP Paul O'Halloran has been working behind the scenes with Burnie, Waratah-Wynyard and Circular Head councils to use the rail line corridor between Smithton and Burnie as it has been decommissioned. Shared pathways currently exist in areas of the North- West, but Mr O'Halloran wants to see them all linked up and believes it could benefit the tourism industry.
Theadvocate
http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/1849352/push-to-link-coast-along-rail-line/?cs=87

Tasmania is slowly but surely becoming a shutdown place. We need a business in the northwest corner to start using rail. We don't need to lose rail to that end of the state.
I do not see why the greens are pushing for this as not using rail increases carbon-dioxide emissions.
If they was really a green group they would be pushing the other way. Taking these trucks between Burnie to Smithton off our road and recommission the utilization of rail.
A rail corridor is important for our future generations and possible transport needs.
Is there a way we can heritage list this section of track?

So these pricks don't make a load of work for the future when that section of track needs to be utilized..

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/1849352/push-to-link-coast-along-rail-line/?cs=87

Tasmania is slowly but surely becoming a shutdown place. We need a business in the northwest corner to start using rail. We don't need to lose rail to that end of the state.
I do not see why the greens are pushing for this as not using rail increases carbon-dioxide emissions.
If they was really a green group they would be pushing the other way. Taking these trucks between Burnie to Smithton off our road and recommission the utilization of rail.
A rail corridor is important for our future generations and possible transport needs.
Is there a way we can heritage list this section of track?

So these pricks don't make a load of work for the future when that section of track needs to be utilized..
Amraks
I think using the CO2 tag has to be done carefully as its politically sensitive as ALP just found out. Yes add it in their campaign but its not the be all and end all. Slightly reduced need to import oil from middle east probably has more political mileage.

The govt needs to take the lead on this, they now own the railway. How about talk to the industry up there, find out what they would need to switch to rail and what would be the tonnages and frequency. From there you can work out if rail is still a suitable option and under what conditions, then determine what the payback is or isn't to upgrade the line and bring it back into service including building a modern transfer yard at Wiltsire. No dicky 400m trains that needs to be shunted 10 times to make it that long on outdated and inappropriate sidings.

I suspect potentially the above has been done!

regards
Shane
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

What industry or potential industry lies west of Burnie these days?
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
There was fertiliser traffic and some kind of stone before the line to Wiltshire fell out of use. There is also the potential for log traffic, the line did not look too badly out of condition when I last saw it. It has potential for re-opening and turning it into a bike path is a waste.
  Electric C Junior Train Controller

Location: The Shed - land of junk, smoke and wonder
Logs logs logs! That is the cause the reason and the solution. The only traffic worth a pinch of smeg that way witch wouldn't surprise me the greens know that and want the chance of that gone. But in saying that it would be a saving grace for the line. Also with pac nat not taking logs/smeg reliability was the reason it was closed!

This is also the exact same scenario for the north east line (I'm starting to hate my own mountain bike)

Finally, fertilizer traffic was out dated I believe the process changed so it was bagged at one site and taken out in containers that way. Anyway if it could be resumed it's only small loads it could work, I did see it at Scottsdale when I was a kid on the back of the train and they was just dropped off the wagons and they shunted it with there own tractor, mind you that's a OH&S nightmare!
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Yes, the Green's traditional hatred of anything to do with logging gives them an incentive to prevent anything that might facilitate it. Vast stacks of radiata pine logs are sitting in logged plantations between Zeehan and Strahan, rotting away as the result of Gunns going broke and the Greens anti-logging stance.


Years ago there was even a plan to extend a new line to Smithton, mostly for the log traffic, the Greens are scheming to make sure nothing like this ever has a chance.

That party's influence is the main reason why Tasmania is such an economic basket case.
  Amraks Junior Train Controller

we need state elections. Guess who will win liberals.
As soon as Labor wakes up to these Greens the better.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
The Bacon / Lennon Govts idea of rebuilding the Western Line back to Smithton, deviating from the old round-about route via Irishtown, to instead follow the Bass Highway, would have potentially added a more varied traffic base to the far Western Line than just logs.

The potential for containerised vegetables (at the time) from McCains, sawn timber from Britton Bros (and latterly peeler billets to and veneer from Ta Ann) and general containerised goods (meat, seafood, etc.) to / from Smithton and the region would have been potentially available - plus it would have added more potential to ATN's early ideas of getting into milk traffic as well.

The far Western Line has been permanently crippled since losing access to the area's main commercial centre of Smithton. Of course, the old slow route was completely unviable (hence its closure by AN) but the new route would have been a far better alternative to the truck choked Bass Highway and would have really benefitted by Tasrails current plans to improve the track condition (and eventually speeds) on the rest of the Western Line.

Had the Bacon / Lennon Govt and ATN had the fortitude to commit to the plan at the time, one can speculate how many lives might have been saved from deadly crashes with trucks in the notorious Sisters Hills.
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
The Bacon / Lennon Govts idea of rebuilding the Western Line back to Smithton, deviating from the old round-about route via Irishtown, to instead follow the Bass Highway, would have potentially added a more varied traffic base to the far Western Line than just logs.

The potential for containerised vegetables (at the time) from McCains, sawn timber from Britton Bros (and latterly peeler billets to and veneer from Ta Ann) and general containerised goods (meat, seafood, etc.) to / from Smithton and the region would have been potentially available - plus it would have added more potential to ATN's early ideas of getting into milk traffic as well.

The far Western Line has been permanently crippled since losing access to the area's main commercial centre of Smithton. Of course, the old slow route was completely unviable (hence its closure by AN) but the new route would have been a far better alternative to the truck choked Bass Highway and would have really benefitted by Tasrails current plans to improve the track condition (and eventually speeds) on the rest of the Western Line.

Had the Bacon / Lennon Govt and ATN had the fortitude to commit to the plan at the time, one can speculate how many lives might have been saved from deadly crashes with trucks in the notorious Sisters Hills.
12CSVT
Steve spot on and more to the point than the blame game emotive argument.
I seem to remember it was a bicycle users group not the Greens who first bought up the plan to convert this rail line to "bike trail" the same as they want to convert the North East Rail Line.
Log traffic, Pine log road transport from the west coast, Strahan area was subsidised by the Commonwealth, I don't know whether that is still the case. However evidence based on trips on the Bass and Frankford highway the amount of log trucks on them appears that there could be sufficient log traffic coming from the west for a rail service.
Noticed in todays Examiner Artec the wood chipper at Bell Bay have been granted an increase in export quota to 600000 tonnes per annum, room for a new rail service perhaps.
  billyboy Station Staff

Location: Footscray Victoria & Ulverstone Tasmania
I would love to see trains back on the far N.W. line but I don't expect that I will ever see them there again.
If the Labour state government contemplated the idea and didn't go ahead with it, any future Liberal government would be no more likely to do so. Federal money would be needed and look at what Mr Abbott thinks about giving money to the states for rail. He is giving billions to Victoria for a road freeway and tunnel but has clearly stated that he won't be funding any state rail projects.

Unless there is a very large ongoing volume of rail freight, road transport will be the cheaper option.
This issue started in the 1920s when roads were being improved and motor trucks became affordable.
It is no different now.

Unfortunately for us rail enthusiasts, the dollar figure, the bottom line is what will decide if a freight railway stays open.
Especially for the smaller regional lines like this one.

As far as the bike path idea goes, I would rather see the railway reservation remain in government ownership and be used as a bikeway/walkway than to see the land sold back to the farmers or let the bush reclaim the railway formation like we have seen with  other lines in the region. At least rail trails have partly preserve the railway, and you never know, one lovely day in the future, a large clean green industry might open up somewhere out there that requires a rail connection and Tassie might be rich then and the preserved rail formation is re-opened with a bike path running beside it. And everyone will be happy! Maybe not.
  Floody Locomotive Driver

Bikepath/walkway plan is ridiculous.

Assertion Greens are Tasmania's problem is even more ridiculous, we are capable of sabotaging ourselves just fine without them.
  SP7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Tassie
Rumours from the NE residents today is that the remaining NE Line is very close to becoming a bike track type arrangement with the track to be lifted.  Be a sad day, lets hope the Far Western Line isn't also on the cards.  Very short sighted to pull up a track, you never know in 10 years time there could be a major mine or development that would suit rail.
  theesp Train Controller

That's ridiculous.
Once it's gone it's gone
  Amraks Junior Train Controller

Rumours from the NE residents today is that the remaining NE Line is very close to becoming a bike track type arrangement with the track to be lifted.  Be a sad day, lets hope the Far Western Line isn't also on the cards.  Very short sighted to pull up a track, you never know in 10 years time there could be a major mine or development that would suit rail.
SP7
I have heard a hint of rumors about grange waiting for a mining operation going bankrupt and buying them out.
Rail could be on the cards for this operation as they would be producing a lot of slurry.
  Electric C Junior Train Controller

Location: The Shed - land of junk, smoke and wonder
Yes amtracks I just heard the same thing! But there is still a lot of logs out north east
  Amraks Junior Train Controller

I will have to find out more about this mining operation from my source, sounds like its going to be interesting next 20 months
The government needs to force truck drivers off the road make them pay higher rego's
Our roads are becoming death traps from the amount of pot holes you see.

forcing trucks off roads would mean rail would be thriving again and death road tolls decreasing.
  Electric C Junior Train Controller

Location: The Shed - land of junk, smoke and wonder
Yes too true if you look in the examiner a company is trying to set up the ling siding (Frenchpine) as a sawmill again the condition of the sidling and lillydale roads just can't cope. I think it was just after 2004 the local rag said it was 50 million for the roads but 20 million to bring the rail up to mainline specks. One would assume both these figures have risen! (Mind you dose the NE line need to be main line spec?)
  Amraks Junior Train Controller

Yes too true if you look in the examiner a company is trying to set up the ling siding (Frenchpine) as a sawmill again the condition of the sidling and lillydale roads just can't cope. I think it was just after 2004 the local rag said it was 50 million for the roads but 20 million to bring the rail up to mainline specks. One would assume both these figures have risen! (Mind you dose the NE line need to be main line spec?)
Electric C
Noticed tonight someone cut down tree's along a rail trail(old rail corridor).

funny but not the right way to go to get rail back on track that way.

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