Brighton hub, is it helping rail?

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Brighton Hub,
- Is the concept working?
- More traffic?
- Lower costs for users?

Any comments or feedback appreciated

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  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Responding to your question RTT_Rules,  the widely held view is with respect to Toll's truck fleet, the answer is an overwhelming yes, yes & yes. With respect to Tasrail, it is an equally resounding no, no & no.

Tonnage on Trains 35 / 36 is woeful out of Brighton, compared to what was hauled out of Hobart a couple years ago. Train lengths tend to around a dozen or so wagons nowadays (rarely exceeding 20) compared to trains of between 30 - 45 wagons that were the norm previously. If it wasn't for the consistency of loading from Norske Skog at Boyer, the viability of the Southern Line would be seriously in question.
  abtrail Station Master

Location: west coast wilderness railway
trucks from Hobart with containers for rail wye would they stop at the hub when they can on a good road to the coast that the government has funded when the money should go on the government rail and save the roads for cars which don't damage the roads asmuch
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Tonnage on Trains 35 / 36 is woeful out of Brighton, compared to what was hauled out of Hobart a couple years ago. Train lengths tend to around a dozen or so wagons nowadays (rarely exceeding 20) compared to trains of between 30 - 45 wagons that were the norm previously. If it wasn't for the consistency of loading from Norske Skog at Boyer, the viability of the Southern Line would be seriously in question.
12CSVT

Is one of the reasons the need to truck containers to the new terminal from Hobart wharf?

Who made the decision to close the Yard in Hobart and is the amount of freight down because of the north to south containers not going to Hobart but the new yard which needs more trucks?

Railways here seem to think the customer will follow them and their way of thinking but this does not always eventuate and customer traffic is lost to road.
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Brighton Hub,
- Is the concept working?
- More traffic?
- Lower costs for users?

Any comments or feedback appreciated
RTT_Rules
The real test regarding the effectiveness of Tasrail's freight task would be an annual reduction of heavy vehicles being registered in this State. Currently this Tasrail is only matching AN Tasrail's freight task for 1986 - 1987.
I travel weekly to Devonport and return to Launceston. Heavy vehicles are regularly in line of sight, last week I overtook 5, B Double rigs nose to tail on an overtaking lane, this for me was a first. Best count so far has been 130 heavy vehicles.
You have to wonder the logic behind truck transporting circa about 600 tonnes of zinc per day from Risdon to Brighton when this tonnage could just as easily be rail transported from the place of manufacture.
You would have to ask whether a survey has been carried out into whether there has been an increase / decrease in heavy vehicle numbers bye passing the Brighton freight hub?
With the ever increasing fortunes of the wood chip industry 30 log wagons just aren't going to cut the mustard unless of coarse 30 wagon loads every two days is all Tasrail wants? Its ironic with much of North East Tasmania under plantation which will require transporting to wood chip mills Tasrail gives away the North East Rail to bike riders. With the increasing growth of vegetable production in the area which will also require transport to the Northwest coast for processing one wonders whether ripping up the North East Rail line is the correct decision?
  new_guy Station Master

Dear abtrail - check out Pitt & Sherry's "Value of Rail" report launched a couple of months ago (available on TasRail website) - 68% of contestable freight between Hobart and Burnie is now on rail!  We don't aim to completely replace road freight - time-sensitive freight should be on road and low time-sensitive freight should be on rail.

Dear NSWGR8022 - there is ZERO demand for containerised freight in the middle of the city!  Freight is deconsolidated at Brighton (or other northern suburbs distribution centres) for local delivery (whether containers come in by road or rail).

Dear BP4417 - its hard to do an apples and apples comparison for periods that are 30 years apart.  Freight has gone from the railways over time for all sorts of reasons - eg. freight task has disappeared completely, change to road regulations (= increased road competition), very poor rail service levels over a long period of time, etc have contributed to declining rail freight volumes over past 20 years or more.  All I know is that in the last 5 years TasRail's volumes have GROWN by 30% within what has been a declining freight market.  Also, none of the forestry business in the NE is suitable for rail (much less the agriculture sector).  There is a very good road network in that region - v. $40m+ to do "something" with the rail line - it simply wouldn't make sense.

Dear 12CSVT - we'll have to agree to disagree (pls check longer term trends on train loads, diversity of freight types, etc, etc).  Moving all freight activity from the centre of the city to the northern suburbs was/is a long-term strategy.  The growth to date has certainly been within expectations (in some cases well ahead of expectations), and some very aggressive growth plans are on the immediate horizon - watch this space!


Damien
ps - excuse me for being a little sensitive!
  grrr17 Deputy Commissioner



Dear BP4417 - its hard to do an apples and apples comparison for periods that are 30 years apart.  Freight has gone from the railways over time for all sorts of reasons - eg. freight task has disappeared completely, change to road regulations (= increased road competition), very poor rail service levels over a long period of time, etc have contributed to declining rail freight volumes over past 20 years or more.  All I know is that in the last 5 years TasRail's volumes have GROWN by 30% within what has been a declining freight market.  Also, none of the forestry business in the NE is suitable for rail (much less the agriculture sector).  There is a very good road network in that region - v. $40m+ to do "something" with the rail line - it simply wouldn't make sense.
new_guy
Even if the current freight options on the NE line are not conducive to rail freight at the current time, why allow the line to be ripped up when that situation might change in the future? the NE line been closed and the reopened in the past, and could be again.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Dear abtrail - check out Pitt & Sherry's "Value of Rail" report launched a couple of months ago (available on TasRail website) - 68% of contestable freight between Hobart and Burnie is now on rail!  We don't aim to completely replace road freight - time-sensitive freight should be on road and low time-sensitive freight should be on rail.

Dear NSWGR8022 - there is ZERO demand for containerised freight in the middle of the city!  Freight is deconsolidated at Brighton (or other northern suburbs distribution centres) for local delivery (whether containers come in by road or rail).

Damien
ps - excuse me for being a little sensitive!
new_guy

Damien, thanks for your input.  Could you please explain what you mean by contestable freight and how this is measured.

Could you also advise who the success of the Brighton Hub is being measured?

There is certainly appears to be some evidence Tasrail and their management team have started to turn the network around, but how do freight volumes now compare to what they were when PN took the business over and when they left the business?
  i_know_nothing Train Controller

What percentage of the overall freight is contestable, is the question. Something less than 50%? Or even 30%?Contestable freight is freight that potential customers may be willing to put on rail, as opposed to freight that "there is no way in hell I'm putting my freight on rail again"?
  8077 Chief Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon
Dear abtrail - check out Pitt & Sherry's "Value of Rail" report launched a couple of months ago (available on TasRail website) - 68% of contestable freight between Hobart and Burnie is now on rail!  We don't aim to completely replace road freight - time-sensitive freight should be on road and low time-sensitive freight should be on rail.

Damien
ps - excuse me for being a little sensitive!
new_guy

Congratulations on getting 68% of contestable freight onto rail between the above locations.  Nice to see Tasrail online here answering our questions.  Can you tell us what the figure was prior to Tasrail being in control of the network?  The question is has it the amount of freight grown since PN left the island?

Can you tell us more about the next area of growth in your business plan?  Are you intending to lift rail freight's share on other routes?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Since 1986 a number of major customers of AN have since closed, ie
- Acid trains to Burnie for the Tioxide plant (100,000tpa? from Hobart to Burnie, 375km, I'm sure Tasrail would love such a contract now)
- Fertilizer supply chain has changed away from being rail friendly anywhere, I believe a few hundred kt/a? This would have been a bit fiddly shunting here and there.
- Paper Mill has closed, loss of coal, logs and clay, bulk loads & good distances.
- NE line main stay was clay traffic, closed, may stay of NE line in last years.
- Massive decline in log traffic for export chips. Much of the now closed branch lines (St Mary's, Mole Creek, Wiltsure/Smithon, Scottsdale/Gladstone and Derwent Valley, were only kept viable (operating) due to log traffic after their previous usually less than wagon load traffic had long since evaporated.
- When did the fuel products cease?
- Livestock?
- Coal to places like New Norfolk hospital etc
- Finished timber products from near Scottsdale
- Other previous wagon or few wagon load deliveries which are not viable on most railways except usually long haul.

+ change in shipping practices some of which helped Tasrail, others have not.

The fact that Tasrail is still operating with these losses is a major achievement in itself, but as others have said, loss of Boyer Paper will place the Southern Line is serious question.

The NE line would probably only be viable for traffic bound to the Burnie or Hobart regions, not Tamar Valley and retaining it is pointless if there is zero likely hood this would ever occur as the line would need a rebuild anyway. The line was closed, reopened and never made enough money to off-set the reopening and Tasrail P/L stated that. Trains sizes were small and only regular for a short period.

Contestable means traffic that is suitable for rail in the right locations, distances, time, volumes and type of freight.
For example, the contestable commercial passenger RPT traffic for rail is near 0% as Tassies rail network does not run where people want to go at the time and speed they want to travel.

Back to Brighton.
Achieving 68% is a good effort, it means that growth is now limited to 50% more than the current freight task (if I have that correct).

Traffic such as bauxite and export coal if it comes up will certainly be a major boost for Tasrail.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
We await with interest further announcements from Damien in regard to additional business.   One point is very clear.   These guys are certainly working harder and being more innovative than the mainland guys.  68% market share of contestable freight is impressive given the distances, total tonneage and the nature of the terrain Tasrail operates in.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
We await with interest further announcements from Damien in regard to additional business.   One point is very clear.   These guys are certainly working harder and being more innovative than the mainland guys.  68% market share of contestable freight is impressive given the distances, total tonneage and the nature of the terrain Tasrail operates in.
Trainplanner

Hard to disagree.  The Tasrail guys are doing a great job.  If only they could hurry up down there and come over to Victoria to start the clean up process there.  Who said shorter distance rail haulage does not work?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

Hard to disagree.  The Tasrail guys are doing a great job.  If only they could hurry up down there and come over to Victoria to start the clean up process there.  Who said shorter distance rail haulage does not work?
x31
If the Vic and fed govts through as much money at Vic rail freight as Tasrail has enjoyed, you would a similar result. PN could probably have done similar if the money was thrown on the table earlier on.

The issue for Tasrail long-term is being sustainable without being a big drain on the state govt as its unlikely Tasrail will ever be a commercially independent sucess.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
RTT whilst I wouldn't disagree with what you say, I still think getting the right people with  expertise that is focussed on the particular market and operating environment is also key.   It does seem to me that the team at Tasrail have a very strong handle on the Tasmanian environment and how to go about developing a service/value equation that is giving them the market share they have.  It's no doubt the business environment is extremely tough but they appear undaunted and picking up the recent bauxite traffic is further evidence.

In Victoria I'm not sure if PN has the shortline/low volume expertise but in saying that the emerging partnership/alliance of PN working with Col Rees who clearly has that experience and expertise does have the elements to see a shift.   The Murray Basin gauge standardization project in many ways is the infrastructure upgrade desperately needed (very much similar to Tasrail's upgrade).   Upgrading and standardizing the bulk of the Victorian regional network to achieve a reliable 21 tonne axle-load operation future proofed for 23 TAL is clearly going to help and might see QUBE for example get into other business that it it is currently not in in Victoria but I still lean to the view that even after all that you have to have a management team that really knows that sector very well.   PN has a very big portfolio which means it will always focus on its heavy bulk and long haul intermodal plus its record in regional lower density freight is patchy.   I hope that arrangements like that emerging with Col Rees will see that change with PN doing line haul and Col operating terminal and feeder services.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
If the Vic and fed govts through as much money at Vic rail freight as Tasrail has enjoyed, you would a similar result. PN could probably have done similar if the money was thrown on the table earlier on..
"RTT_Rules"


I would disagree that gaining substantial infrastructure funding would have changed the commercial result of P.N. in Tasmania.

One of the major drivers contributing to P.N.'s decline in Tas. was the extremely poor marketing and customer relations, that through a toxic combination of aggressive arrogance and dis-interest, turned off a number of what had been previously very supportive customers. Some of that lost traffic, that was only lost at P.N.'s discretion (not the customers), is still challenging today's Tasrail to get back.

In fact, Tasrail today, is fortunate to have any business remaining, following the departure of P.N.

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