QLD Freight Task?

 
  monday Chief Commissioner

Hi everyone,

One of the things that has always intrigued me is to understand how much / what exactly is the qld freight task in terms of trains and frequency - beyond the usual affair of coal trains and QR passenger services (and any LCL freight they may carry).

Are there still  generally scheduled services from places like Quilpie, Longreach, Mt Isa etc that run to export ports, or is it all services of the past that used to run, but no longer operate?

Also, what sort of frequency do things like cattle trains run, and what size of trains are they?

Whilst NSW and VIC is easy enough to find out, I would love to understand how qld operates.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Cheers,
M

Sponsored advertisement

  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The North Coast Line is the primary freight corridor in Queensland, PNQ runs daily-ish trains Brisbane to Cairns, Townsville and Mackay, while Aurizon runs one Brisbane to Cairns train a day, two Brisbane freights to Townsville each day, a daily Gladstone to Townsville freight, a freight from Townsville to Cairns (about twice a week), a daily-ish train Brisbane to Mackay and about four freights a week Brisbane to Rockhampton. NCL  freights usually weigh between 1300 tonnes and 1800 tonnes with lengths up to about 670m. Plans are on track to run 1300m trains as early as next year. The NCL moves somewhere around 2.5 to 3 million tonnes of freight..almost entirely containers.  Cattle trains run at least weekly from Cloncurry, Winton or Clermont during the season, some go to Rockhampton the rest to Brisbane.

The Mt Isa line sees about five freights a week (6M54/9255), up to about 970m, there's about four mineral or acid trains a day in each direction on this line plus at least one cattle train a week moving about 6.5 million tonnes. The central line sees a weekly freight to Winton. Freight traffic has virtually ceased on the line west of Toowoomba, and cattle trains have been very sporadic. Grain traffic originates east of Roma and Thallon in the south, from Emerald, Moura, Clermont and Mt McLaren in the central region, with grain ports at Brisbane, Gladstone and Mackay (rarely more than one million tonnes moved these days). Seasonal sugar trains run from the Burdekin region to Townsville and around Mackay (about two million tonnes) all on the NCL. About four million tonnes of nickel ore moves each year between the Townsville Port and the Yabulu refinery, also on the NCL.

There's around 1.2 million people living north of Gladstone these days to give you an idea of what the consumer demand is for freight services. 750,000 people live between Mackay and Cairns.
  monday Chief Commissioner

Wow, that's much more than I initially thought!

How many of the lines these days are 1720 class only, or can pretty much 2100/2300s do all the tasks these days on all the open lines?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Charleville to Quilpie is 1720 only, Brisbane to Charleville and Emerald to Winton are 15.75 tonne axle loads (or 16 tonnes on some sections) so 2170F/2300/2400/2470, most of the rest is 20 or 26.5 tonne axle loads and good for 2800/4000/4100/PN/83.
  monday Chief Commissioner

Interesting - how many 'grain only' lines are there beyond the ones mentioned above? For example, Cunnamulla etc, and are they light weight axles loads too i.e. less than 15.75t

Sorry for asking so many questions, just keen to learn!
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

None of the lines west of Roma see grain. Cunnamulla was only cattle and freight, 10.75 tonne axle load line and is now out of use. Grain branches are all now 15.75 tonne axle load lines, the only active grain branches still in use are the Millmerran, Meandarra and Thallon lines. Jandowae and Wandoan branches were also upgraded but are now out of use. The only active 10.75 tonne freight branch left in Queensland is the Quilpie line and it has only seen a couple of cattle trains this year.

In Central Queensland the grain branches could all handle 15.75 tonne axle loads, but those that don't see coal are now pretty much out of use, with the exception of the Clermont branch which is still used for cattle.

In the south the Thallon line also sees regular cotton trains from Goondiwindi, while the Wallangarra line is still active but only sees steam specials. This line is also a 15.75 tonne axle load line but it has no clear future at the moment. The short Allora branch was a 15.75 tonne axle load line but has been out of use for many years...however it may be reopened shortly for a new grain operation.

In the north the lines beyond Cairns are good for 15.75 tonnes axle loads as far as the Arriga sugar mill, beyond is only 10.75 tonnes, but only sees railmotors. No freight is moving beyond Cairns these days. All lines out of Townsville are 20 tonne axle load lines.

All active Central Queensland coal lines are 26.5 axle load lines except the Springsure Branch and Central line west of the junction of the Dysart line, which are 20 tonne axle load lines (or at least were the last time I heard about them) as far as the Minerva mine and then 15.75 tonnes to Springsure, the latter section is not being used at the moment.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
I had heard rumours about the Allora branch, that SDSR had surrendered the lease over it.

SDSR did some work around the station yard, but recent look-sees suggested the restoration has stagnated somewhat.

Although the branch is only 4ks long (not counting the Goomburra extension...), it has been out of use since the mid nineties and suffered washaways in recent-year flooding, near Allora.

Is there anything more specific about the proposed reopening that is public knowledge?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

And just another detail worth mentioning...12 million tonnes of freight and minerals move through Townsville each year by rail (and only a few hundred thousand tonnes of that is coal), which is close to twice the tonnes moved through Melbourne. There are 120 locomotives allocated to Townsville by Aurizon and PN to operate the NCL and Mt Isa lines (no 1720s and one hundred or more have axle loads above 15.75 tonnes, and only two locos are allocated to haul coal). Some sections of the NCL coming into Townsville see up to fifty trains a day.

Non-coal freight moved in Queensland is about 17 million tonnes this year. The current annual rail haul for Queensland coal is about 195 million tonnes (PN/Aurizon/BMA).
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I had heard rumours about the Allora branch, that SDSR had surrendered the lease over it.

SDSR did some work around the station yard, but recent look-sees suggested the restoration has stagnated somewhat.

Although the branch is only 4ks long (not counting the Goomburra extension...), it has been out of use since the mid nineties and suffered washaways in recent-year flooding, near Allora.

Is there anything more specific about the proposed reopening that is public knowledge?
"locojoe67"


Allora grain depot gets nod
Comments (5) »  Erin Smith  28th Nov 2013 6:00 AM
STORY TOOLS



Use this content
RELATED ITEMS

» Allora plans go with the grain
» Grain shed 'will surround us all'
» Possible grain facility for Allora
» Councillors to consider huge grain operation
» Grain project in limbo as council orders tests for site
» D-day for Allora grain storage facility
DESPITE receiving close to 100 objections from residents, the Best Little Town on the Downs is about to become home to a massive grain storage and distribution facility after the Southern Downs Regional Council gave it the final tick of approval yesterday.

The approval means the Allora-Hendon railway line will be used for the first time in years to transport grain to the facility and then on to the Port of Brisbane.

The facility will house four grain storage bunkers each 37m wide, 350m long and 7.8m tall.

There will also be silos, administration buildings and on-site car parks at the site which spans a total of 30.72ha.

At the helm of the development is Grainx Australia director Chris Hood, who is also the man behind the current grain silo in Herbert St.

With more than 12 months having passed since Mr Hood submitted his development application to the council, he was glad to finally see a decision during yesterday's general meeting in Stanthorpe.

However, it was not a quick decision.

Councillors went around the table each voicing their concerns, but acknowledging the benefits the development would bring to the region.

With the noise and air quality tests proving there would be no issues, the councillors' main concerns were for the nearby neighbours - especially Geoff and Helen Pitstock, whose home is set to be surrounded by the new grain facility.

Mr and Mrs Pitstock both attended the meeting.

"I am disappointed in the council's decision," Mr Pitstock said.

"I thought some of the conditions such as the 110m long, 3.6m high wall (which will act as a noise barrier) that will completely block all our views would have slowed up the process."

Mr Pitstock said he would like to see the council showing some more consistency.

"Last month they knocked a wind farm development on the head because of the people it would affect, this will affect just as many people, and there is just no consistency."

Mrs Pitstock said it was a shame their property was so close the development's boundary.

Cr Jamie Mackenzie said the development's need to be near the railway line meant there wasn't really anywhere else it could be moved to.

"This is going to enhance the region's grain industry, create ongoing employment opportunities and as far as planning goes there is nowhere else that has a privately owned spur railway line, is flood free and close to highways," he said.

"It ticks all the boxes and is supported by the planning scheme."

Cr Glyn Rees said he felt for the Pitstocks and the situation that they were in, but said there was no reason to not approve the application.

Mr Hood said he understood the concerns of the council.

"I am conscious of the concerns the council have, but this project has got wide economic benefits to the region and even the state," Mr Hood said.

"I have had a lot of interest from large export companies.

"Warwick has already made a name for itself as a distribution hub with the Big W distribution centre and it makes sense to co-locate with them."
  monday Chief Commissioner

With the above in mind, it's hard to understand why QR/Aurizon have persisted with legacy equipment like 1720s/2100s for so long (particularly with the fact that they still have so many of them). I get the 2300s for working to Toowoomba etc... I guess they are just cheap to use and run into the ground and nothing more...
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Thanks Sulla. A development worth watching out for.
  Toddy Train Controller

And just another detail worth mentioning...12 million tonnes of freight and minerals move through Townsville each year by rail (and only a few hundred thousand tonnes of that is coal), which is close to twice the tonnes moved through Melbourne. There are 120 locomotives allocated to Townsville by Aurizon and PN to operate the NCL and Mt Isa lines (no 1720s and one hundred or more have axle loads above 15.75 tonnes, and only two locos are allocated to haul coal). Some sections of the NCL coming into Townsville see up to fifty trains a day.

Non-coal freight moved in Queensland is about 17 million tonnes this year. The current annual rail haul for Queensland coal is about 195 million tonnes (PN/Aurizon/BMA).
"Sulla1"


Do PN still run the iron ore train for Xstrata from Cloncurry to Townsville? I think I can remember that the train stopped but not sure. If it has stopped does anyone know if it will start up again? Thanks
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Do PN still run the iron ore train for Xstrata from Cloncurry to Townsville? I think I can remember that the train stopped but not sure. If it has stopped does anyone know if it will start up again? Thanks
Toddy

Iron ore trains from Cloncurry to Townsville are no longer running due to the mothballing of the mine. There's no talk of it re-opening at this stage. PN is running assorted ore trains from Mt Isa to Townsville for Glencore (Xstrata).
  emerald-a Locomotive Driver

Also, what sort of frequency do things like cattle trains run, and what size of trains are they?


monday

There are supposed to be 3 cattle trains a week running from Longreach/Winton but due to the drought most of them haven't run since around the middle of last year.No sign yet of them starting up again this year and it is probably going to be unlikely to happen due to all of the destocking that occurred last year.

There are 2 cattle trains a week running from Clermont .These have run fairly normally with a 3rd train running on occaisions using the slot of one of the Western Cattle trains east of Emerald.

They normally run with 44 wagons on (650m)
  Yesman Chief Train Controller

I think youll find there has a been a few stock trains from the Longreach area run this year.


No Quilpie cattle since Feburary last year. (Drivers keep their currency on the line via the weekly hirail vehicle inspection of the line.)


No general freight on the western line system since the last 6743 goods train ran. There was a pipe haulage contract that ARG won, and subcontracted it to Aurizon over the last two years to haul pipes to Miles and Biloela.


Cotton in containers from Goondiwindi is still happening in season as far as I am aware. Grain trains to Thallon still happen as required.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.