A range of works from ballast cleaning through to graffiti removal over the past few days.
I had been hoping for the return of overnight Sydney-Melbourne intermodal freight services, whose optimal departure times from Sydney coincided with peak passenger services. Many will remember the days when SM5 and SM7 both ran out of Sydney 5-6 nights a week in the 6-7 PM time slot, with the corresponding MS4 and MS6 coming into Sydney around 6-8 AM. Now we only have SM5 Monday nights and BA6 Wed and Sat, and presumably the same number of overnight trains in the opposite direction.
Some have told me that rail is not considered competitive with road over the distance between Sydney and Melbourne, and I would presume this would also apply Sydney-Brisbane, although there are daily Melbourne-Adelaide services. Were the old overnight services operating at a loss and only kept going by government subsidy? Others have said that it can take years for freight to move from one form of transport to another, due to contacts being signed several years in advance. I simply don't know how accurate either of these ideas is, as I do not work in the industry.
But yes there appear to be NO extra freight services now that the SSFL has been operational for a year, so you would wonder when/if any increased traffic will start to appear on rail between Sydney and Melbourne. This is a big disappointment in my eyes so far.
SSFL has made a significant difference but it only gets you to Macarthur South and that's a long way from Dynon . The Campbelltown Freeway has 4/3/2 lanes each way where SSFL has one for both ways .
Even south of Macarthur in ARTC territory rail motors and XPTs get pathing priority .
When NRC started there was still many single lane sections of the Hume Hwy in NSW and while lengthy bypasses made big differences all the southern railway got was remote control signalling on the same POS garbage steam age rail alignment . True there are Bi Di passing ops at Yass Harden and Jindalee but they do jack for you on long sections like Picton to Moss Vale and Goulburn to Yass . Junee really needs a long passing facility but there is no will to do anything .
The lack of a straighter more direct route between Albury and Goulburn really kills transit times , the road freight on this corridor skirts around both these locations but in between the southern lines alignment is pathetic . Instead you have Governments hell bent on blowing tax bux on wind farms and Carbon dioxide taxes to hold back progress whilst spending billions on Hume highways . Go figure .
Well the trucks must be doing something right because they too and fro 24 7 365 . They don't all leave Sydney and Melbourne at 9 PM to to arrive at 6:30 the next morning .
If you ask the truckies who stop at Yass services centre for a quick coffee after midnight they say the trip takes them around 9 hrs 45 min .
As for David Marsian claiming 10 Hrs 40min for 1500m superfreighters and 11 40 for 1800m ones , it really shows how much they were relying on the force to even publish their clueless rot . They may have partially gotten away with convincing their federal masters of this crap at the time but the people doing the job night after night knew they were Fullovit . Had THEY taken a few cab rides they would have avoided a whole lot of grief as would some of the operators who swallowed the lie .
Construct a railway that is purpose built to be an interstate corridor , nothing less will ever be fit for the purpose being discussed here no matter how much money is thrown at it .
Basically start looking at places where the Hume crosses or runs parallel to the MSR and then bypass the rail sections that don't ..