Penrice stone train

 
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Darn, that means they finally fixed it, guess the GWA drivers are having a wild party if that's the case.
"fabricator"


Indeed, didn't think it would return to service tbh. Not long before this service ceases forever, plenty of rumours around about the Stonie finishing before/around Christmas. So for those enthusiasts in SA, get plenty of photos/footage of this train while you can!

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  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
The lattest rumor going round is that the last stonie will run on january the 14th (a tuesday) anyone else heard of this? heard it from a couple of GWA drivers.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
I heard it too.
  class400railcar Junior Train Controller

Location: On The Overland
G'day

As the stonie's future is possibly in doubt I was thinking of trying to see it once for myself. (I live interstate and when I'm here spend most of my time around the South Line).

Is it likely to be running this Friday (27th) and if so what time frame is it likely to go through Salisbury.

If it's not running I'll be around for a couple more weeks so what days is it most likely to run on?

Any information will be appreciated

Thanks
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I have not heard anything of Penrice closing the Bicarb plant.

Does this mean the stone is now going by road?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I have not heard anything of Penrice closing the Bicarb plant.

Does this mean the stone is now going by road?
"steam4ian"


Now that would be very interesting Ian, seeming that PSP complained bitterly about the poor quality of the stone when it was transported by road during the Gawler line shutdown.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Will be interesting to see what GWA will do with the BG 830's after January 14. Will they keep them in case they run grain trains to Roseworthy (very unlikely I know), donate one to the NRM & Steamranger, or just cut them up?
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

How many locos do GWA use for the stone train?
Would GWA convert them to narrow gauge for use on the Eyre Peninsula if there's a requirement for more locos over there? Lets face it, there'll be no requirement for them on broad gauge other than possibly one at SteamRanger and/or the NRM.
I'd suggest that if 704 is still being a PITA with her on going issues, she'll get the chop.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

An 830 would be nice for PRR at Quorn and consistent with 1970-80s practice. No less so than the Brill RM.

An 830 would be lighter on the track than either the NSU or NT.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
How many locos do GWA use for the stone train?
Would GWA convert them to narrow gauge for use on the Eyre Peninsula if there's a requirement for more locos over there? Lets face it, there'll be no requirement for them on broad gauge other than possibly one at SteamRanger and/or the NRM.
I'd suggest that if 704 is still being a PITA with her on going issues, she'll get the chop.
"SAR520SMBH"


841, 843, 844 & 704 are assigned to the Stonie (usually 2 locos, combos vary), with 831 the shunter at Osborne. I also heard 704 is very likely to be put on standard gauge after the 14th.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Would it not be worth waiting until the train actually ceases running before contemplating the fate of the locos? Cart before the horse, anyone?
  Clyde_AT26HC-2M Chief Train Controller

Would it not be worth waiting until the train actually ceases running before contemplating the fate of the locos? Cart before the horse, anyone?
Raichase
Its RP what do you expect.

I think people should be grateful that GWA donate locomotives instead of scrapping them unlike other operators.

Anyway back to the topic.....
  monday Chief Commissioner

The big difference is that SA groups haven't bit the hand that feeds them - it's not unreasonable to prophesise about the future of the 830s.  Given that most of them are aged, low HP, and there are no 'branch line only' lines left on standard gauge (you can get by with main liners these days), they have little (if any) use apart from NG conversion.

However, big $ to shift them, rebuild bogies or overhaul them.  If they were required on NG then 865 or 871 would have been reactivated by now.

I have no doubt 704 will be converted to SG.

Preservation is a great outcome for something like the 830s that otherwise has no other use.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
How many locos do GWA use for the stone train?
Would GWA convert them to narrow gauge for use on the Eyre Peninsula if there's a requirement for more locos over there? Lets face it, there'll be no requirement for them on broad gauge other than possibly one at SteamRanger and/or the NRM.
I'd suggest that if 704 is still being a PITA with her on going issues, she'll get the chop.
SAR520SMBH

Are you suggesting GWA can't find any other BG business?

Regards
Brian
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Are you suggesting GWA can't find any other BG business?

Regards
Brian
bevans
Brian

Within SA the opportunities are almost minimal. Only the line to Roseworthy may have some life left in it and then GWA would have to drum up the grain business again; I almost forgot that have to extend BG access to Pelican Point grain terminal.

You may know about opportunities in Victoria.

The 2000 class Jumbos could be converted to head end pushpull operation with the elevated cab taken off. They could stand in when the 4000 class EMUs fail or be used with football crowds.

As you can see for ideas we are scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Ian
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

In South Australia, yes.
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
I have heard that 704 will shortly be moved to Islington (not sure which gauge) to become part of GWA's training centre there.
  monday Chief Commissioner

Even on BG in Victoria, all regional routes to "port"  have substantial pinch points that lend themselves to using big mainliners like Gs and XRs, not using old low HP clapped out branchliners.

The 830s have a finite role these days, it's that simple.

Those quaint little freight services that you see in the history books with a single 830 and six vehicles has no place in modern rail roading, which this isn't the forum to discuss why - it's been done to death elsewhere several times over on RP.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I have heard that 704 will shortly be moved to Islington (not sure which gauge) to become part of GWA's training centre there.
alcoworldseries
Yes I have heard the same as this as well.

The only serviceable BG line left not including the Metro lines is the Penrice line the other lines have not even been maintained for a decade or more. Most have full grown trees in places growing between the rails.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
The big difference is that SA groups haven't bit the hand that feeds them - it's not unreasonable to prophesise about the future of the 830s.  
monday
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "don't discuss the future of these locos", I was just curious that everyone was planning where these locos would go in absence of any concrete information that the train would wind up, that's all.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The train has to go sooner or later though as it is a sad fact of life with the plant downscaling and most probably more to come in the future it might be cheaper and easier to truck it in. Not saying it will happen tomorrow, but after GMH did the same kind of thing slowly closing things down till in the end there is virtually nothing. Penrice Soda is a lot smaller than GM and their current financial partner is not going to want any losses made on its investment in the company if it can be helped. So if the company cannot stand on it's own two feet then it will go. No one knows when though, but it might eventually. Most of their product can be sourced from overseas now anyway. Even they import some things they formally made at their plant!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

David in a the absence of any press announcement, and it would not be kept quiet, there is no reason to suspect that Bicarbonate production at Osborne will cease. Penrice have already established markets for the Bicarb and for the quick lime they produce. Their importing of soda ash feed stock would have been hedged against the AU$.

We have no indication that the demand for limestone at Osborne is going to change from the present 2/5ths of the demand when Soda Ash was produced on site.

The technical production preference for rail transport remains, that is rail delivers a product with less fines, and the production methodology has not changed.

What could change are:
> Penrice accept a stone with more fines and deal with these at Osborne.
> The cost advantage of road now offsets the cost of handling product with fines
> Penrice can obtain the bulk quantities of CO2 required for the process from some other source*
> GWA want to walk away from the activity for varying reasons
> Rail access costs have made the service uneconomic
> Retaining accreditation of the line north of Gawler is too expensive.

* The exhaust gas from the gas turbine at Osborne power station is high in CO2 and is just outside the fence.

SA need a good dose of ill informed pessimism.

Ian
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
One only has to read the business section of the paper to realise that most companies including Penrice are doing the hard yards as more manufacturing in Australia gets closed down and less is needed in raw materials etc. They used to be a thriving company once but as more turned to either getting things made overseas or importing stuff from overseas then the decline started and in most cases once it starts and is beyond your control you just keep going down. At the end of the day it is all about profits and as the years tick on and the plant gets older etc sooner or later it will have the plug pulled on it as being too costly and so Australia and South Australia will again lose on it.

I really cannot see the plant being completely rebuilt in the future though at what cost and would they ever make enough to pay for it. Sure upgrades here and there can be done but sooner or later you get to the point of a whole new plant being needed rather than trying to keep the old one going. A bit like a car you can fix most things if you know how, but sooner or later something major goes and that is the end of the car!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

One only has to read the business section of the paper to realise that most companies including Penrice are doing the hard yards as more manufacturing in Australia gets closed down and less is needed in raw materials etc. They used to be a thriving company once but as more turned to either getting things made overseas or importing stuff from overseas then the decline started and in most cases once it starts and is beyond your control you just keep going down. At the end of the day it is all about profits and as the years tick on and the plant gets older etc sooner or later it will have the plug pulled on it as being too costly and so Australia and South Australia will again lose on it.

I really cannot see the plant being completely rebuilt in the future though at what cost and would they ever make enough to pay for it. Sure upgrades here and there can be done but sooner or later you get to the point of a whole new plant being needed rather than trying to keep the old one going. A bit like a car you can fix most things if you know how, but sooner or later something major goes and that is the end of the car!
David Peters
David.
I have recently had some minor involvements with Penrice sufficient to say that the recent plant alterations do not give any indication of it closing at the point when cessation of the rail service has been suggested by some.

As I said, a little bit of pessimism is like Pecks Fish Paste, it goes a long way.

Ian
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
It's what becomes of the infrastructure that typically determines the likelihood of it being resurrected. The absence of something else to move just makes that harder. May just be another one for the history books Sad

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