Monto loop line. Kalpowar track work

 
  jaygee Beginner

Does anyone know what is happening in the Kalpowar area on the Monto track?
I saw a track maintenance car and gang this afternoon

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  Sunbird Station Master

Because no one else had a definitive answer I will offer my best guess.
I suspect it was most likely doing vegetation removal in preparation for the bushfire season.
Nice to see a hi-rail vehicle is at least still using the track.
When I walked the tunnel section a year ago there was a bin sized boulder on the track, I hope they had fun moving it.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Goondicum ilmenite mine near Monto will be reopening soon - Canada's Melior Resources bought out the previous mine owner Belridge Enterprises in June. Production is expected to reach 7000-tonnes of ilmenite a month for export to Japan via the Port of Gladstone, plus an entry into titanium oxide production will increase tonnages beyond that. These tonnages seem rail friendly (around two loaded trains a week) but media reports suggest a new haul road will be built initially. Still, a bit of coincidence the Monto line is being hi railed and cleaned up a month after the mine reopening was announced.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The Goondicum ilmenite mine near Monto will be reopening soon - Canada's Melior Resources bought out the previous mine owner Belridge Enterprises in June. Production is expected to reach 7000-tonnes of ilmenite a month for export to Japan via the Port of Gladstone, plus an entry into titanium oxide production will increase tonnages beyond that. These tonnages seem rail friendly (around two loaded trains a week) but media reports suggest a new haul road will be built initially. Still, a bit of coincidence the Monto line is being hi railed and cleaned up a month after the mine reopening was announced.
Sulla1

Last time when it was running there was the promise to use rail and I think after 1-2 train loads (if that) it was truck. Open to correction.

7000t per month is not very attractive to rail when the rail operator is hauling more than that per train in the same area. QT has shut down higher tonnage services that run over much longer distances because they lost money.
  fred59 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Boonah
That line has already had a tender signed off on it, for it to be removed by dempac
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Whilst I appreciated their video of their last run through the tunnels, the cameraman had the shakes at times - which can be a bit annoying.
OldSteamer

I haven't seen the video and don't know who the cameraman was, but if it was taken from on board a section car wouldn't it of necessity be somewhat shaky due to the undoubtedly rough ride?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
the "shakes" are multiplied by the camera being hand held rather than fixed to the vehicle- also by rapidly swinging the camera around to another angle without switching it off. Youtube is chockers with shakey videos that are almost impossible to watch, especially when done by young people who actually think it clever photography to try and get a viewer giddy. there are video fixes that cure some of this, but just editing out the rubbish is a very basic cure; both though are seldom done- instead we are inflicted with mega tetrabytes of rubbish. I often wonder why Youtube allows its site to be clogged like this.

getting back to Kalpower / Many Peaks, I think Jeff Seeney's office can do all the hard work on turning this line into a rail trail if he has already sold off the rails. It would also give him the opportunity to spend a few million in his own electorate prior to the election (or at least promise to do so). Instead of inflicting this "flavour of the month" on to the likes of Mary Valley; and it is "flavour of the month" every short sighted politician will jump on this bandwagon for short term electoral gain, but a decade down the track, you will end up with a lot of overgrown disused and unusable corridors with cows grazing and hasty cow cocky fences erected to block any further isolated walkers/ cyclists.

his office can also do the hard work on getting the series of 6 tunnels listed with State Heritage (seeing they are not part of any National Park- like Muntapa/ Cooyar and Dularcha/ Mooloolah). there was at one stage a journalist in the Central Burnett region agitating for the protection of this line.

nothing will be left of a lot of rail corridors in 100 years time for your descendants, great great grandchildren, to view, save for tunnels, as most infrastructure, station buildings etc, were built of wood and carted off, some to museum sites, others private disposal.

closer to home I would be more interested in getting Pine Rivers Shire Council to excavate all the spoil they allowed to be tipped at the northern portal of Yugar tunnel, and opening it up for greater access. a bit of a horse / cycle/ walking trail ends at the moment at the southern portal. also the group seeking the heritage listing of Ernest Junction tunnel, the oldest piece of history left on the Gold Coast but the most desecrated!
OldSteamer

Yes there can be too many rail trials. But I think the Monto Loop offers something special and ticks many boxes.

If you start from either end Callopie or Kilikivan and go to the other, you actually are going from close to Gladstone to close to Gympie. But agree much of the southern part is a bit ho hum. Maybe Gayndah.

There are small towns at regular intervals, to offer services and facilities, but would there be enough people?
Another issue for this route is summer, it maybe simply too hot for the holiday time.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Given the distance that the entire branch is, and the unlikelyhood that any walkers/mountain bike riders/horse riders are going to complete the entire length, why not make it multi purpose, with the provision to allow 4wds to traverse the length. That would be an interesting trip.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

While I'm not surprised the line is being lifted, but given the amount of money spent on the line in the early naughties - including a significant line relocation around the Awoonga Dam and significant relay project using 41kg rail - the government may have been better served to tender the line for lease to interested commercial operators. I'm not saying there would have been 'interested commercial operators' or a short line style operator could have captured sufficient freight (forestry, grain) to be viable, but the exercise may not have been as wasteful as pulling up track that had only just been laid. Removing the Greenvale line in 1997 stymied mining mineral development throughout the Greenvale region during the last mining boom - removing the Monto line will almost certainly ensure similar circumstances for mining development (coal, iron ore and bauxite) in the North Burnett.
  Johnmc Moderator

Location: Cloncurry, Queensland
nothing will be left of a lot of rail corridors in 100 years time for your descendants, great great grandchildren, to view, save for tunnels, as most infrastructure, station buildings etc, were built of wood and carted off, some to museum sites, others private disposal.
OldSteame

This is probably the direct opposite of your view ( and there is no acrimony intended), but I believe that rail trails can *protect* corridors for future generations.  To explain my view:

Rail trails will help keep a corridor in public (state or government) ownership, which will save a bundle if the corridor is needed in the future.  Take 2 examples from South East Qld - the Gold Coast line and the Cleveland line.  


  • When the Gold Coast line was closed, the corridor was sold, so when the need arose for the rail link to be reinstated, there were resumption costs etc, which we - the taxpayer - had to foot.  I imagine that wouldn't have been cheap, and that was for a route that was well west of the old line.




  • When the Cleveleand line was closed, the Redland Shire held the corridor, and didn't permit it be build upon.  Because of that, the job of rebuilding the line was made that much easier, and the majority of the old corridor was able to be used for the new line.



I'm suggesting that rail trails - providing they are done correctly, that's the rub - are the modern version of the Redland Shire's 1960's actions.  They are "banking" corridors for the future, and getting some use out of them in the meantime.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
The Brisbane Valley rail trail is an illustrative example highlighting rail trail maintenance issues. After the floods in recent years, plans to extend the trail the entire length of the corridor are on indefinite hold. Even covering ongoing costs becomes problematic, particuarly when after the initial trail conversion costs, covered by a State grant, the local councils usually become responsible for costs.

http://www.qt.com.au/news/state-cant-afford-rail-trail-funds/1534580/

I would be nervous about millions spent making the Beaudesert line into a vandalised, washed out rail trail. The Monto line too should be mothballed, rather than ripped up. But I guess the current fashion for rail trails means we haven't got anywhere near "peak rail trail" yet.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Making the rail trial a 4x4 track would be a night mare and if I was an adjoining land holder I been cormpletely pisssed off. You also need to effectively mainitain another road, bridges etc. The ling also has a number of tunnels which in practice will be closed off rail trial or 4x4 track to eliminate ongoing maintenance and safety issues.

The former BD line especially west of Logan Village would make an excellent horse/bike/cycle trail. There is a reasonable local community that would ensure regular usage. Monto Line is far more remote. Some sections may prove popular and the regular spacing of towns makes it similar to that of Sth Island NZ which is very popular.

The former GC line formation was not worth keeping. The best thing about the old GC line closing was the that the formation was built over.

The Monto line can be closed and preserved, closing a line does not mean the formation is lost, however would a modern railway want it? There was previously a proposal to rebuild the line south of Bilo to Thangool and over moderate terrain towards Monto to get to the proposed coal mines than use the Monto alignment.

Mothballing a line is only good if the track is maintained, considering the age of the track and its light weight status, it really is useless. I believe Greenvale was ripped up at the very end of the sleeper life and the decision was made to get the rail which was reused on the Mt Isa line while they still could with a train. Had this not occurred the line would have become unusable for trains and the rail recovered by truck by cutting into short sections at much higher cost.

The decision to build the diversion around Awonga Dam during the dam raising was very controversial at the time. It was paid for by the Dam project, not QR, but ultimately was a complete waste of money. The Dam project also rebuilt the road and sealed at the same time. During the line rebuilding, the limited train traffic was stopped and switched to truck and never returned. The line was also upgraded to as far as many peaks for new coal traffic before the coal mine closed. Many sleepers and new rail was left alongside the line further south but never got installed. They even built a solar powered LX protection just past Many Peaks.
  Exqr Locomotive Driver

Location: Gympie Q.
Making the rail trial a 4x4 track would be a night mare and if I was an adjoining land holder I been cormpletely pisssed off. You also need to effectively mainitain another road, bridges etc. The ling also has a number of tunnels which in practice will be closed off rail trial or 4x4 track to eliminate ongoing maintenance and safety issues.

The former BD line especially west of Logan Village would make an excellent horse/bike/cycle trail. There is a reasonable local community that would ensure regular usage. Monto Line is far more remote. Some sections may prove popular and the regular spacing of towns makes it similar to that of Sth Island NZ which is very popular.

The former GC line formation was not worth keeping. The best thing about the old GC line closing was the that the formation was built over.

The Monto line can be closed and preserved, closing a line does not mean the formation is lost, however would a modern railway want it? There was previously a proposal to rebuild the line south of Bilo to Thangool and over moderate terrain towards Monto to get to the proposed coal mines than use the Monto alignment.

Mothballing a line is only good if the track is maintained, considering the age of the track and its light weight status, it really is useless. I believe Greenvale was ripped up at the very end of the sleeper life and the decision was made to get the rail which was reused on the Mt Isa line while they still could with a train. Had this not occurred the line would have become unusable for trains and the rail recovered by truck by cutting into short sections at much higher cost.

The decision to build the diversion around Awonga Dam during the dam raising was very controversial at the time. It was paid for by the Dam project, not QR, but ultimately was a complete waste of money. The Dam project also rebuilt the road and sealed at the same time. During the line rebuilding, the limited train traffic was stopped and switched to truck and never returned. The line was also upgraded to as far as many peaks for new coal traffic before the coal mine closed. Many sleepers and new rail was left alongside the line further south but never got installed. They even built a solar powered LX protection just past Many Peaks.





The above mention of bridges. reminded me of two the many 4wd trips I made in FNQ when I lived up there between '89 and '94. I went from Ravenshoe to Lappa Jctn via the former rail per way. There was not a bridge standing. This track was used a bit and creek crossings were made by going down the embankment, over the creek and up the other side to regain the old track. I would imagine the groundwork was done by hand years before.
On reaching Lappa, I was surprised to find a DEL chained to the track on the Ravenshoe leg of the angle. It still the brake handle/lever in place.
I don't recall that loco being there on the 2nd trip and I think it was a Paw Paw, but stand to be corrected on that.

(This part about the old Ravenshoe-Lappa Jctn line was added by Exqr)
RTT_Rules
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
talking about the possible flogging off of this line- ie selling the steel for what the Govt can get for it, one tends to forget that another byproduct is the sale of sleepers.

for 40 years I have always had a raging wood fire in winter, an absolutely preposterous bit of pretence in South East Queensland (save of course for those who freeze up at Stanthorpe or over the border at New England), but I always pretend I am in the depths of Olde Englande from whence my ancestors originated etc etc etc. and I kiss my railway sleeper bits and pieces as a token of love and esteem for the railway branch line that has disappeared to provide them (well conservationists hug trees- why can't I kiss railway sleepers bits and pieces)

and I get my best fire wood from a local source at Willawong who had the bulk contract with QR up to a year ago, but whose stocks would probably set up a small narrow gauge outfit in style (under 2 foot of course to beat the bureaucrats)

but I just had the brainwave to add a few more sleepers to my garden as edging, and checking gumtree I note that there is a huge pile for sale at Murgon, but also a huge pile for pickup in bulk lots at Boonah. Boonah!!! what are railway sleepers doing at Boonah. there mustn't be a source locally surely!

so. no doubt these predators will descend upon the Monto line once the rails have gone, and I am kept in firewood till my death. sad really! but at least in winter I love the warmth, and---- I can imagine the trains that ran over them!
OldSteamer

In the good old days the railways didn't have to move the old sleepers far as people just took them from the sides of the track. Well my dad had been known to get a few this way.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Making the rail trial a 4x4 track would be a night mare and if I was an adjoining land holder I been cormpletely pisssed off. You also need to effectively mainitain another road, bridges etc. The ling also has a number of tunnels which in practice will be closed off rail trial or 4x4 track to eliminate ongoing maintenance and safety issues.

The former BD line especially west of Logan Village would make an excellent horse/bike/cycle trail. There is a reasonable local community that would ensure regular usage. Monto Line is far more remote. Some sections may prove popular and the regular spacing of towns makes it similar to that of Sth Island NZ which is very popular.

The former GC line formation was not worth keeping. The best thing about the old GC line closing was the that the formation was built over.

The Monto line can be closed and preserved, closing a line does not mean the formation is lost, however would a modern railway want it? There was previously a proposal to rebuild the line south of Bilo to Thangool and over moderate terrain towards Monto to get to the proposed coal mines than use the Monto alignment.

Mothballing a line is only good if the track is maintained, considering the age of the track and its light weight status, it really is useless. I believe Greenvale was ripped up at the very end of the sleeper life and the decision was made to get the rail which was reused on the Mt Isa line while they still could with a train. Had this not occurred the line would have become unusable for trains and the rail recovered by truck by cutting into short sections at much higher cost.

The decision to build the diversion around Awonga Dam during the dam raising was very controversial at the time. It was paid for by the Dam project, not QR, but ultimately was a complete waste of money. The Dam project also rebuilt the road and sealed at the same time. During the line rebuilding, the limited train traffic was stopped and switched to truck and never returned. The line was also upgraded to as far as many peaks for new coal traffic before the coal mine closed. Many sleepers and new rail was left alongside the line further south but never got installed. They even built a solar powered LX protection just past Many Peaks.
RTT_Rules

They essentially built that solar powered LX twice. First time, they put the solar array on a frame about 5 ft off the ground, about 20 ft from the LX. The solar panels quickly disappeared. When they replaced them, they were on a pole about 30ft in the air.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

They essentially built that solar powered LX twice. First time, they put the solar array on a frame about 5 ft off the ground, about 20 ft from the LX. The solar panels quickly disappeared. When they replaced them, they were on a pole about 30ft in the air.
Expost


I've heard a similar situation existed on the Mt Isa line too...however the thefts dropped off when QR began using Google Earth satellite images to locate QR-looking solar arrays on private property in the surrounding areas.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

I am lead to believe that all Telstra solar panels have a red tint in the glass. Makes it easy to spot those that have been knocked off.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I am lead to believe that all Telstra solar panels have a red tint in the glass. Makes it easy to spot those that have been knocked off.
Expost

I believe some of the biggest subscribers to Google Earth is the likes of Telstra, local councils and the EPA for similar reasons to above.

A former employer of mine was fined by the EPA due to a spillage at an area of the plant remote from public access. They came to sight with print outs from Google Earth
  Exqr Locomotive Driver

Location: Gympie Q.
the "shakes" are multiplied by the camera being hand held rather than fixed to the vehicle- also by rapidly swinging the camera around to another angle without switching it off. Youtube is chockers with shakey videos that are almost impossible to watch, especially when done by young people who actually think it clever photography to try and get a viewer giddy. there are video fixes that cure some of this, but just editing out the rubbish is a very basic cure; both though are seldom done- instead we are inflicted with mega tetrabytes of rubbish. I often wonder why Youtube allows its site to be clogged like this.

getting back to Kalpower / Many Peaks, I think Jeff Seeney's office can do all the hard work on turning this line into a rail trail if he has already sold off the rails. It would also give him the opportunity to spend a few million in his own electorate prior to the election (or at least promise to do so). Instead of inflicting this "flavour of the month" on to the likes of Mary Valley; and it is "flavour of the month" every short sighted politician will jump on this bandwagon for short term electoral gain, but a decade down the track, you will end up with a lot of overgrown disused and unusable corridors with cows grazing and hasty cow cocky fences erected to block any further isolated walkers/ cyclists.

his office can also do the hard work on getting the series of 6 tunnels listed with State Heritage (seeing they are not part of any National Park- like Muntapa/ Cooyar and Dularcha/ Mooloolah). there was at one stage a journalist in the Central Burnett region agitating for the protection of this line.

nothing will be left of a lot of rail corridors in 100 years time for your descendants, great great grandchildren, to view, save for tunnels, as most infrastructure, station buildings etc, were built of wood and carted off, some to museum sites, others private disposal.

closer to home I would be more interested in getting Pine Rivers Shire Council to excavate all the spoil they allowed to be tipped at the northern portal of Yugar tunnel, and opening it up for greater access. a bit of a horse / cycle/ walking trail ends at the moment at the southern portal. also the group seeking the heritage listing of Ernest Junction tunnel, the oldest piece of history left on the Gold Coast but the most desecrated!


OldSteamer

Guys, I don't know if I can help, but am willing to offer. I live not really close to the Monto line but was a fireman there in the early 60's. A trip up there would bring back a few memories. I can do videos and would like to do my bit here. I have good video gear that could do with some use. I'm willing to provide the group with a DVD/CD/USB stick of the results.

I'm thinking that padding such as old pillows under a tripod would solve any shaking problems.
  A7EL Station Master

Location: At my desk
Telstra solar panels have the Telstra symbol moulded in them, which makes it easy to identify them.  When I worked at Telstra I had Google Earth with the Telstra cable overlay for planning where to put fibre cables, it had pretty good resolution.

Section Cars vibrate.  A lot.  The owner of 970 lost his cheap imitation go-pro on the Winton run on the second day.  There is an annoying thump with every rail joint as well, as the wheelbase isn't a lot either!  I think digital image stabilisation would be the go.  ASSCO can't run any line that has been closed, so no more runs on the Monto loop, which is a real loss as I enjoyed the line a lot.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
what moronic criminals graffiti artists are. Nothing stops them. They cost the economy millions of dollars each year.

I am personally sick of these low life.

How do you stop this?
OldSteamer

Make the penalty fit the crime...

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