Tookayerta (Loxton) & Pinnaroo lines to close

 
  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
When are the impending changes with the haulage contract due to take place? id like to chase a train out there while I still can. Doesn't look good after reading the latest Catchpoint reduction from 3 to 2 grain consists in the Adelaide region and only silos on the ARTC network served.

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
At a guess I would say sometime around the end of the financial year as most contracts like this are done like that!
  BIG-BEAR Chief Train Controller

2 weeks ago I past through the area .

There was a grain train at Murrayville and the railway line to Ouyen seemed to be looked after .

The railway line at Pinnaroo yard seemed to be losing the fight with weeds and grass .
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Changes on the EP started from 1 May 2014 as reported elsewhere on the forum.

Negotiations continuing re the mainland contract. Trains still currently running to Loxton and Pinnaroo as required - there have been one or two this week
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Closures confirmed:

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/rail-giant-genesee-wyoming-to-close-rail-lines-in-south-australias-south-east-sa-libs-say/story-fni6uo1m-1226959048599
AdelaideNow:

RAIL giant Genesee & Wyoming Australia will close two commercial rail lines in the State’s southeast and there is talk other rail lines in South Australia face the same fate, the Opposition says.

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone has told Parliament the company will close the lines in his electorate.

“I have met with Genesee & Wyoming and, sadly, they have indicated to me that the two lines from Tookyerta (which is at Loxton) down to Tailem Bend and the rail line from Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend will close before the end of the year,” he said.

“This is a sad indictment on South Australia because I know over the last 50 years that South Australia was the pride of rail on the national stage yet, today, we look at the impending closure of these two commercial lines, and there is talk that others in the state are going to be closed.”

Genesee & Wyoming Australia and the State Government have been contacted for comment.

The company’s website says GWA employs more than 400 people, has 95 locomotives and 950 active wagons.

In South Australia, GWA operates three other rail lines in addition to the two which run in Mr. Whetstone’s electorate.

Mr. Whetstone said the two lines are important commercial agricultural rail lines and them closing will impact significantly on roads and the viability of bulk freight.

“Again, that will see more and more freight being put on the roads, and it is going to be put on two particular highways that are of real concern: the Karoonda Highway, which is a road essentially from Loxton down to Tailem Bend or Murray Bridge; and also the Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend highway,” he told Parliament.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Interesting that the story on Adelaide Now continues with ........
A Genesee & Wyoming Australia spokesman said the company had a current agreement in place with Viterra for the movement of grain on rail in the Murray–Mallee region.
“Planning for future operations is ongoing,” he said.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said no decision had been made by Genesee & Wyoming Australia to close rail lines in the State’s southeast.
Mr Mullighan said the company was currently in negotiations with Viterra.
Mr Mullighan said Mr Whetstone was well aware the negotiations were ongoing.
“His comments today don’t help those negotiations,” he said.
  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
Which other lines may close? I cant really think of any probably EP im assuming.
What next mainlines? just wait till ARTC's privatized and up go access charges and down goes maintenance. There is no place for railways under a conservative fed government, railways are much too social/environmentally friendly to conform with liberal ideology or so they think.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
i dont understand how these lines could not be profitable or break even with the grain volumes. you need to do road maintenance why are these lines not being maintained by the south australian government?

as for further line closures i don't think the ep will be one of them. there is also an announcement about iron road rail plans.
  mynameismike Deputy Commissioner

Location: /dev/adelaide/magill
I wouldn't be too hasty laying all the blame at the feet of GWA.  From personal experience I can tell you that Vitera can be very hard work.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Which other lines may close? I cant really think of any probably EP im assuming.
What next mainlines?
"sar602"


Well pjknife has reported the following in the Port Lincoln Notes thread
The good news is that Gypsum Resources Australia (GRA) and GWA have signed a new 10-year contract, and this will trigger a major upgrade investment in the line by GWA
"pjknife"

So it won't be the Thevenard - Kevin line closing.

As to the two other GWA run lines....
Whyalla ore lines ...... As GWA have recently invested in 5 new locos ........ I'd say it's got some life left in it yet.
Tarcoola Darwin line ....... I think it might just be getting past at the moment Wink
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I think you will find it will be G&W divesting itself of rail lines that do not operate as such. This could and most probably would be all the Northern BG lines it has as even if closed they are accountable if say a bushfire goes along the now overgrown in most places rail corridor. So I would assume that along with the two other lines that still operate they will simply be divesting themselves of those lines that are no longer used. They still have to maintain the corridors even if they don't run the trains along them as they are responsible for every thing above the ground level this includes weeds, trees and undergrowth as well.So it might just be a bean counters way of getting out of things just in case of in the future!
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Seems there's currently no grain at Tookayerta, perhaps that line has seen its last train?
  wat700 Junior Train Controller

Location: Richmond, NSW
My parents passed through Pinnaroo today and advised there was grain train behind a GM and a 700 loading at the complex opposite the quarantine checkpoint. Sadly no pictures.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
So, an MP makes the statement - what is his source?

The GWA website says nothing.

mikesyd

You must be another of these road industry hacks that are trying to suppress the story.

Rail companies rarely post details of line closures on their web sites, even less so intended line closures.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
You must be another of these road industry hacks that are trying to suppress the story.

bingley hall

Not at all - the less trucks on the road the better, but I was just an interested observer who was intrigued that an MP makes a statement, but a search for his source reveals nothing. Another member here has since sent me a PM saying that the source was the company itself - must have been the verbal type.

Anyway, if its dead, that's it i guess....a shame.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Not at all - the less trucks on the road the better, but I was just an interested observer who was intrigued that an MP makes a statement, but a search for his source reveals nothing. Another member here has since sent me a PM saying that the source was the company itself - must have been the verbal type.

Anyway, if its dead, that's it i guess....a shame.
"mikesyd"

To repeat the earlier posted part of the Adelaide now article (posted by me 10 posts ago)
“A Genesee & Wyoming Australia spokesman said the company had a current agreement in place with Viterra for the movement of grain on rail in the Murray–Mallee region.
“Planning for future operations is ongoing,” he said.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said no decision had been made by Genesee & Wyoming Australia to close rail lines in the State’s southeast.
Mr Mullighan said the company was currently in negotiations with Viterra.
Mr Mullighan said Mr Whetstone was well aware the negotiations were ongoing.
“His comments today don’t help those negotiations,” he said.

Remember that the MP Mr Whetstone is an opposition MP who was attempting to have a 'dig at the government in Parliament.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

You must be another of these road industry hacks that are trying to suppress the story.

Rail companies rarely post details of line closures on their web sites, even less so intended line closures.
"bingley hall"
The rail industry hacks are no different to the road industry hacks then!
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
There was Pinnaroo grain last night, it was shorter than normal. Was that last train to and from Pinnaroo?
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
statistics of road accidents in regional western australia were heard on radio sunday morning.  almost all fatalities in regional wa involving road accidents involve a truck.  the number of trucks on wa roads must be quite high and accidents also cost the community huge dollars.
why aren't the cost of these accidents factored into rail line maintenance issues like they should be?  sa needs to address this problem also.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
In the past month, most (if not all) grain trains to/from Loxton & Pinnaroo have been around 30 hoppers & hauled by 3 locos (usually a combo of GM/700, GM/22 with an FQ attached at Tailem Bend).
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Very very sadly this is yet another example of a failure to have put in place 15 to 20 years ago long term maintenance and renewal strategies to ensure that these and thousands of kilometres of regional secondary  branch lines had the capacity and capability to take advantage of increases in axle loads for wagons and locomotives to continuously deliver improved productivity and competitiveness for haulage of grain by rail. On other forums some rail pagers have poo pooed the concept of seeing such lines being progressively upgraded to at least 25 tonne axle loads to ensure that new generation high horsepower locomotives which are now a reality and high load to tare weight ratio wagons also now a reality  can deliver low unit costs for hauling  grain in particular.

Even in the USA where railways are privately operated, state governments have either fully funded or made grants available to short line operators to upgrade their tracks for heavier axle loads to maximise productivity.

One only has to look at the observations above to see how costly it must be to operate a 30 wagon grain train on the current arrangements. The wagons will be either 30 plus years old or new but not able to be loaded to their maximum rating and 4 locos tied up in the movement. This included detaching and attaching mainline units at Tailem Bend incurring both time and cost penalties plus underutilisation of expensive mainline unit

Since the takeover of its grain haulage internally using state of the art locos and wagons with operation contracted to WATCO CBH in WA has achieved a huge reduction in rail haulage costs and is actively campaigning to see rail service on lines now suspended reopened.

I think there is without doubt a strong case to see this model applied on these lines and indeed CBH has and is considering expanding to Eastern Oz but the stumbling block I see is getting governments to assist in clearing the maintenance backlog on these lines so that such operations can develop.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
statistics of road accidents in regional western australia were heard on radio sunday morning. almost all fatalities in regional wa involving road accidents involve a truck. the number of trucks on wa roads must be quite high and accidents also cost the community huge dollars.
why aren't the cost of these accidents factored into rail line maintenance issues like they should be? sa needs to address this problem also.
JimYarin

How do we know they are not?

30 wagon trains are not the best example of railway efficiency. Realistically a railway line needs to deliver a rake load of freight each business day to be self funding.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Which other lines may close? I cant really think of any probably EP im assuming.
What next mainlines? just wait till ARTC's privatized and up go access charges and down goes maintenance. There is no place for railways under a conservative fed government, railways are much too social/environmentally friendly to conform with liberal ideology or so they think.
sar602

Big statement considering the amount of money and deals done to fully unify the interstate that the Howard govt did during his 11 year term including construction of the NT line which made no commercial sense and the recent announcements for the Inland.

A branch line with the occasional 30 wagon train probably running light axles is marginal at best. Realistically you need to have a daily train to come close to viability.

Question is not why they are closing it? Blind Freddy can see why, but what happened to all the other freight? Surely good taxpayers money wasn't through at this line for conversion to SG with the only traffic being the odd 30 wagon train?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
In Western Australia they're progressively closing their system down as we speak because the government can't be bothered with them any more; even the trucking industry is unhappy about it because they claim the local roads system is nowhere near up to the task.

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