NSW Government seeks interest in re-opening rail lines

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 04 Apr 2016 10:48
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There appears hope for the Tumut line yet!

Good to see a state government willing to work with industry on rail projects. Daniel Andrews continues to fail dismally in this area.

NSW Government seeks interest in re-opening rail lines

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  1771D Junior Train Controller

Why the hell should the rail line not be at least partially government funded (road safety & reduced pollution) when the road running beside it is massively funded?  I give the chances of re-opening the line zero, if not at least partially government funded.  Added to this is the rail trail lobby, who want to lock the corridor up for hipsters on push bikes, and the landholders who will also lobby against rail access, unless they receive a nice financial sweetener of course.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
This was in a thread not long ago as the current NSW Government has put out Tenders for a number of lines, and all the replies so far has been 'not viable'.
I believe they missed the boat with Visy at Tumut. The sheer cost to re-establish rail that would be placed on Visy to cough up would not be acceptable. Visy are getting 'free' upgrades to the current road infrastructure so why would they spend money on a rail.

15 years ago, CSR/Boral had a similar examination of the Oberon line, who at the time had a greater export via Port Of Melbourne and the line is much shorter than Tumut. The timber companies ended up sticking with road because even with an established rail it was too slow to move timber compared to the road transport they had in place.

The Tumut line to follow the same path is going to be large cost. There are some major bridge replacements and it would be multi-millions just to re-establish a crossing of the Hume Highway.

I too note the Rail Trail group have been going hard on this line too and are having huge issues with farmers! I guess they think 'they' own the land?!
The same line has hit the news two different reasons

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-20144/
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The Federal and state governments have a funding role if this line is to re-open.
  ssaunders Train Controller

Remember the expression of interest called for the Cowra line? There were two groups going for it and the Govt decided not to let either have a go at reopening it.

Gladys then and Constance now, does anyone will think this is anything more than placating some in the rail lobby.

ss
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The link is not working for me @bevans

And yes. Some funding would be good. Though the majority of these projects seem to be transport subsidies for the users so not all of think.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
There appears hope for the Tumut line yet!

Good to see a state government willing to work with industry on rail projects. Daniel Andrews continues to fail dismally in this area.

NSW Government seeks interest in re-opening rail lines
bevans
How is Andrews failing dismally when compared to his NSW counterpart?

This ruse to win over rural voters by the Baird and his cronies is going nowhere yet everyone seems to be sucked in by it.

Smoke and mirrors.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

Well said Bingley and ssaunders
  UpperQuad Locomotive Fireman

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-20144/
There’s something very odd about this Request for Tender. It explicitly includes several railway land sites around the (privately) proposed Widgelli Rail Hub. Coincidence? Inclusion of the Tumut line in the RFT ensures there will be no expressions of interest. Just saying...
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I am in Tumut right now and this trip and previous ive walked a few parts of the line. You will not reopen this line, you will just about need to greenfield a complete new one for 85km for one customer. Yes its a big customer but 1mpa or what ever Visi pump out is not huge by rail standards when your capex outlay is plus $300 to 400m.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I am in Tumut right now and this trip and previous ive walked a few parts of the line. You will not reopen this line, you will just about need to greenfield a complete new one for 85km for one customer. Yes its a big customer but 1mpa or what ever Visi pump out is not huge by rail standards when your capex outlay is plus $300 to 400m.
RTT_Rules
Including or not the log transport to Tumut?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Logs are not the most sucessful customer for rail. But this would depend on the distance and source.

I'd like to see both visi output and input of logs on a new line, but...
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Like the previous "request for tenders" such as Cowra, this is about the Government saying to the local voters "we attempted to reopen the railway line but...."
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Visy is a key user behind the rail line request to re-open.  What is it about rail which is attractive to Visy over using trucks?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
In my view, if you linked The Cootamundra-Tumut line and the Cowra lines together, you could start getting some interesting results and this is where the real opportunity may lay

PM me if youre interested in talking further about the analysis needed.

Potential traffic includes:

Visy
- Logs southbound from Oberon area (which were not included in the economic study for the Cowra lines, but if included, would mean they were a shoe in for viability) - around 200,000 tpa.
- Recycled paper from Sydney and Melbourne to Tumut, for inclusion in the recycling process - unsure, but lets say 500,000tpa.
- Processed paper outwards - around 1,000,000tpa

Strategically, Visy likes talking about its environmental record etc. and even if it funds part of the upgrade, id say it could lower its transport cost compared to road, and its terminals in Melbourne and Sydney are not that far from the interstate network.

Other traffic - Cowra lines
- grain for export and domestic (over 100,000 tpa)
- reefer containers inbound from and outbound to Melbourne from Blayney (9000 TEU pa)

Other traffic - Tumut lines
- unsure, possibly some export fruit and timber products maybe?  Not sure though.

Lots of this traffic would create traffic on the interstate network, and create benefits in the capitals through lower congestion.

Funding wise, industry gets the benefits so should pay something, though there are reduced congestion, environmental, road accidents etc that are really beneficial to the public, so there is some argument to make that government should fund at least part of any works that have benefits.  Regarding the industry benefits, youd also need to consider the multiplyer, ie, if an investment is made by government in the supporting infrastructure, industry may take additional actions (eg expansion) to use the benefits provided through lower transport costs, and create additional economic growth.  

And here is the previous discussion

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11383490.htm - Riverina, SW Slopes and Plains RFT

And finally, yes there is politics in this, but also I think the NSW Government sees that there is something to do here in terms of a freight task - they wouldn't do it in an area such as Cooma where there is nothing to haul..
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Vis can talk to the cows come home on its support for rail and reopening ancient branch lines but it knows full well what isn't going to happen. Only way Visy would switch if it was commercially viable. To build a line to Tumut will cost about $5 to 8m per km and you might save something in earth works by using parts of the old line. So for something around $400 to 600m investment the mill needs to have a 20yrs life.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Vis can talk to the cows come home on its support for rail and reopening ancient branch lines but it knows full well what isn't going to happen. Only way Visy would switch if it was commercially viable. To build a line to Tumut will cost about $5 to 8m per km and you might save something in earth works by using parts of the old line. So for something around $400 to 600m investment the mill needs to have a 20yrs life.

Apart maybe grade and curve easing the Tumut line needs a major bridge, by-pass of Gundagai, Hume hwy under or over pass and numerous LX eliminated. Perhaps as most if this is in close proximity of one another an entirely new route would eliminate some of these.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What is the anticipated facility life ?
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Visy is a key user behind the rail line request to re-open.  What is it about rail which is attractive to Visy over using trucks?
bevans
Is there some information of recent that Visy would like it re-opened?

I know there is a bit of conflict with the current media report to the actual 2005 ABC story.

Visy stated bascially what any company would say... they will go with the cheapest and effective way to move their goods, I don't think they actually care if it is rail or road.

http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common/printfriendly.pl?http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200501/s1288277.htm
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
What is the anticipated facility life ?
freightgate

I think like most plants, its akin to the how long is a piece of string!

This document gives a bit of detail on where the waste they produce will go.  Currently they use a landfill at Gilmore which has a life of 50 years, and there is one at Jugiong that has a life of 40 years.  The document says that these should be able to cater for Visy's needs.  They do talk about other facilities such as Woodlawn, Albury, and various options in Sydney.  If they did decide to use Woodlawn, the assessment notes that this would need to be railed in.

[color=#0563c1][size=3][font=Calibri]https://www.finnvera.fi/content/download/750/3633/version/1/file/01%20Visy%20Tumut%20Final%20Env%20Assessment%20Main%20Report.pdf[/font][/size][/color]

Also, standard building tax deductions are for 40 years.  

Id say its pretty reasonable to expect that there could be another 30 years of production at Visy, all things equal and despite the missed few years, it might be enough to cover costs?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
james.au
Edit to my previous post - the 12,000 TEU reefers identified for Melbourne is incorrect, it should be 9,000 (per the Samrom report)
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Vis can talk to the cows come home on its support for rail and reopening ancient branch lines but it knows full well what isn't going to happen. Only way Visy would switch if it was commercially viable. To build a line to Tumut will cost about $5 to 8m per km and you might save something in earth works by using parts of the old line. So for something around $400 to 600m investment the mill needs to have a 20yrs life.
RTT_Rules
@RTT_Rules, where is your $5-$8m from?

There is already a report that has been done by John Holland to estimate the costs of restoration, as per the tender documentation issued for the current tender.  Id love to get my hands on that.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Look at some of previous railway construction projects for rural or freight only single lines.

A 100km long coal line in CQ 12yrs back was $4m/km on flatfish ground wirh only a few bridges of significance.

My assumptions Regardin the Tumut line
100% new sleepers
Mostly new rail
New ballast and drainage
Some realignment and grade easing
By pass Gundagai
New bridge over River
Over or under pass of Hume hwy
Replace any LX wirh a major road with over pass
Safe working system
Full LX protection for those that remain
(There will be no grandfather clauses on this line)

Remember this line was abandoned in early 80's due to lack of traffic and traffic volumes were light for decades before.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

My assumptions regarding the Tumut line:
...
Over or under pass of Hume hwy
...
RTT_Rules

I would be largely confident that this would already be "paid for" by a contingency back in the dark past from the Hume Highway reconstruction through here, as there are plenty of the same deals over here in the West.

With Main Roads WA and the Public Transport Authority (owner of the WA government rail network, which then leases it to Brookfield), should MRWA wish to impact a line that may be out of service, then there will be planning undertaken and funding set aside from that financial year's budget to allow for the future reinstatement of the status quo (road design allowing for the rail to be operating).

Examples are:
- Goldfields Road north of Merredin. Final road design allows for pocket road-trains to stack across the Tier 3 line north of town (currently out of service) and the intersection to impact on line clearances with turning radius running close to existing rail envelope. However, the design and funding has been allowed for re-instatement of the line on different alignment in the future should the line be re-opened to traffic. This is solely dependant on PTA decision to re-open, not requiring (or allowing) MRWA to refuse to fund it.
- Collie to Bowelling cross-country line, out of service since 1987 (roughly). Coal mine now has an open pit across the alignment, but their management plan and approvals require an alternative rail alignment to be available at all times should the line be brought back into service. Current alignment would head south around the Collie Motorplex and tie back in near Bowelling. This is to be reinstated at the mining company's cost should the line be made available to traffic (even though the rest of the line to either Narrogin or Wagin would need complete rebuilding as well).
- Bowelling Curves and Gibbs Siding realignments, between Bowelling and Narrogin. The PTA forced redesign of the new alignments to ensure that the reinstatement of the line through here could be done at as little extra cost as possible. MRWA would have had to provide more than seven kilometres of new alignment, costing almost as much as the relaignments themselves.

Like I said originally, I would be highly skeptical that the TfNSW/SRA/etc did not have this covered in the agreement for the RTA to build across their corridor during the Hume Highway works. The only problem then will be possible litigation to force the RTA to uphold their agreement (or even to get them to acknowledge that there was even one to begin with!), which is a whole other kettle of fish.

Cheers,

Matt.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
And indeed such an agreement exists. Refer to section 3.3.2 of this document.

http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/documents/projects/south-western/hume-highway/coolac_environreview.pdf

I'll see if I can get more details when I'm back in my desktop.

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