Road deliveries to Victorian ports exceed rail deliveries, and it's costing the grain industry

 

News article: Road deliveries to Victorian ports exceed rail deliveries, and it's costing the grain industry

Road deliveries to Victorian ports exceeded rail this year with one company seeing a road transport increase of around 20 per cent during the past harvest.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If there was ever a point at which an industry has reached a tipping point for the review of performance of Victorian Transport it is now.  This is evidence of a complete failure of the current government in getting vital rail links to work effectively and efficiently.  Never before have I seen such a head in the sand attitude from the premier, the minister and cleasrly the department for transport and Victrack who CLEARLY and collectively believe they are not responsible for making the system work.

Hang your heads in shame.

Road deliveries to Victorian ports exceed rail deliveries, and it's costing the grain industry

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Entire supply chain via rail is a mess sadly. GrainCorp are completely frustrated with vixtrqck, V/line and the department.

PN sick of the lack of support and investment in rail in Victoria.

I suppose Daniel Andrews believes transurban will fix this too ?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

A couple of points:
1) The very large harvest has meant that due to a hopelessly inadequate rail system, trucks have had to take up the slack and thus haul a higher percentage of grain than rail.  More grain has been hauled by rail this year than last, but it should've been a lot more.
2) Ports are the responsibility of the Minister of Roads & Ports (Luke Donnellan).  See a problem there?
3) Portland needs to be reopened to grain traffic.  See point 2).

One can only hope things will improve with the standardizing of NW lines.  But if the ports remain a bottleneck/hindrance for rail traffic, then what hope is there?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
If there was ever a point at which an industry has reached a tipping point for the review of performance of Victorian Transport it is now.  This is evidence of a complete failure of the current government in getting vital rail links to work effectively and efficiently.  Never before have I seen such a head in the sand attitude from the premier, the minister and clearly the department for transport and Victrack who CLEARLY and collectively believe they are not responsible for making the system work.

Hang your heads in shame.

Road deliveries to Victorian ports exceed rail deliveries, and it's costing the grain industry
bevans

Why are you apportioning blame on to the current government when its the current government that's procured the $$ to get the system repaired...

Says Mr Wakefield below of Wakefields transport of Merbein who rails freight to Port of Melbourne.



Mr Wakefield said a lack of infrastructure spending was behind the shift. "What government needs to do is ensure they have funding, major program maintenance for the freight network," he said. "Because successive previous governments haven't done this and what happens is you have a freight deficit.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mike I understand why you might think that but we have an ALP government which off the top of my head around 4 terms? to the single term of the napthine government?  If you think about that and conclude or advocate for the problem being around for a while then who else would be responsible?  Vicroads?

Had a coalition government been in power over the same period I would have said they contributed.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Mike I understand why you might think that but we have an ALP government which off the top of my head around 4 terms? to the single term of the napthine government?  If you think about that and conclude or advocate for the problem being around for a while then who else would be responsible?  Vicroads?

Had a coalition government been in power over the same period I would have said they contributed.
bevans

Railways decline in their serviceability and useability over time...that is incrementally, they don't suddenly become cr@p and full of speed restrictions on the 31 October of any election year.

Most lines were ok 8 years ago...though were probably in decline. The Mildura line had around $80Million spent on it around 2009 under Brumby. The Napthine government had plans to upgrade the Mildura line again with the SG, however I'm unsure if it had upgrade or SG plans for the others such as Manangatang, Sea Lake or Pinnaroo.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The $80m spent on the Mildura line in 2009 was federal money.

The Conversion project to SG for the lines earmakred will re move access to many silos.

In any case Mike we need urgent action on the rail network.  Why is Victrack not going to the government with a plan to fix all the issues?
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
There must be someone responsible for the shamozzle.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

There must be someone responsible for the shamozzle.
freightgate
I believe someone or many are responsible for being neglectful of rail.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

 Why is Victrack not going to the government with a plan to fix all the issues?
bevans
The way I understand it is that the responsibility for the maintenance of the country broad gauge tracks rests with V/Line, not Victrack.
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

LOL PN complaining of a lack of support and investment?! This is the same PN that ran the broad gauge network into the ground?

Remember a Liberal government privatized the network and a Labor government bought it back and lumped into onto V/Line. Another great example of Victoria's rail privatization experiment!
  Tony M. Locomotive Fireman

Politically the problem is two-fold: the Liberals support private enterprise, which is the trucking companies, while (in theory) Labor supports the workers and there are more people working in trucking than rail. So any kind of decision by either party that would screw over trucking in favour of rail is going to be very unpopular with people who have real say in how Victoria operates.

Of course, in fifteen years or so most trucking is going to be largely automated, so the balance might swing back (at least when Labor is in power). I had someone recently try to tell me that the sudden boost in rail investment in Victoria was linked in part to the fact that cars are no longer made in Victoria - some of the behind-the-scenes pressure to always prioritise roads over rail to support local industry had vanished.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The Conversion project to SG for the lines earmakred will re move access to many silos.

bevans
There are only a handful of silo storage facilities that have serviceable train loading equipment anyway !

The older Williamstown and Geelong type silos have elevators that are just too slow to load a grain train In a timely manor.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A couple of points for the discusion....

When the Oaklands line was regauged only 5 silos retained there rail facilities. All the ones closed though were small operations and were not able to store much grain.

A problem for farmers is that if a silo with rail is more than around 40 to 50 kilometres away, the farmer has a substantial double handling cost and on these occasions its cheaper to truck the grain to Geelong (from NE Victroria anyway).

A couple of seasons ago with a large crop everyone taking grain to Geelong reported huge delays, even for trains unloading. This was due to poor storage handling and not enough shipping for grain export. So Geelong ONLY could recieve grain after space had been created when a ship was loading.

Due to the lengthy period of dry conditions more and more grain is being grown in areas without any silos, this can ONLY be handled by roads. Such an areas is south of Sheparton and Benalla, there's only one receiving point and thats Murchison East, delays there are so high most say its better to go to Geelong ,see point 2.

The last point for decent transport infrastructure the governments both state and federal need access to a great deal of funds, this is being denied to them by the publics addiction to low taxes. IF the public want decent transport they simply MUST PAY FOR IT, it can be provided no other way.

woodford
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
1) The very large harvest has meant that due to a hopelessly inadequate rail system, trucks have had to take up the slack and thus haul a higher percentage of grain than rail.  More grain has been hauled by rail this year than last, but it should've been a lot more.
Carnot
What is the inadequacy?

The rail network is fixed.  Id say the inadequacy is the rail operators.  PN had industrial action.  QUBE has had to resort to the antiques rail show to meet its contracts.  

If SSR, CFCLA, GWA or other rolling stock operators could have joined the market quickly and easily this problem wouldnt have arisen.

You all know where I'm going with this....
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
 Why is Victrack not going to the government with a plan to fix all the issues?
The way I understand it is that the responsibility for the maintenance of the country broad gauge tracks rests with V/Line, not Victrack.
DalyWaters
Correct.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
The Conversion project to SG for the lines earmakred will re move access to many silos.
There are only a handful of silo storage facilities that have serviceable train loading equipment anyway !

The older Williamstown and Geelong type silos have elevators that are just too slow to load a grain train In a timely manor.
Nightfire

Agreed.  Look at the number of small, low volume sites.  They'd cost a motza to operate.  the handlers are better off consolidating into larger sites, lowering the site costs, and passing (part of) that back to farmers - e.g. Project Regeneration by Graincorp.  Farmers trucks these days are now often able to do that, whereas they were running horse teams (and the odd single axle truck) when the majority of current silo network was formed.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

1) The very large harvest has meant that due to a hopelessly inadequate rail system, trucks have had to take up the slack and thus haul a higher percentage of grain than rail.  More grain has been hauled by rail this year than last, but it should've been a lot more.
What is the inadequacy?

The rail network is fixed.  Id say the inadequacy is the rail operators.  PN had industrial action.  QUBE has had to resort to the antiques rail show to meet its contracts.  

If SSR, CFCLA, GWA or other rolling stock operators could have joined the market quickly and easily this problem wouldnt have arisen.

You all know where I'm going with this....
james.au
I was referring to the system as a whole.  Track maintenance/condition, flexibility, bureaucracy, rolling stock, operators, lack of modern broad gauge locos etc.

Interestingly, SSR looks like it's about to become very involved in moving grain in Vic....
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
This article seems rather vague to me, there are no figures to represent last years and this years inflows of grain, it doesn't say where the grain is coming from, if it's within a 250-300k range of Geelong, big deal.

No comment from the major grain companies or Port Authority that the harvest export is in total anarchy only Emerald who said that more grain than they'd like was going by road.

Heat re-strictions ? how much grain was really stranded in the middle of no where and for how long ? probably fa in the big scheme of thing's.
What rail issue's actually held up large volumes of grain ?

PN strike one week, so how much grain do PN usually shift in one week ? and this has caused catastrophic back log of grain, hmm bull dust.  


There is no word on the amount of grain going outward form the port, you can't keeping bring it in, especially by train, in the thousands of tonne's at a time. Are the ships removing the grain quick enough, what's the storage capacity at the port's ?

Mostly hot air and it's from the ABC.

BigShunter.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I was referring to the system as a whole.  Track maintenance/condition, flexibility, bureaucracy, rolling stock, operators, lack of modern broad gauge locos etc.

Interestingly, SSR looks like it's about to become very involved in moving grain in Vic....
Carnot

Oh I agree there are many other issues, but if the network were bigger, I'm pretty sure they'd be sorted out.  Greater volumes mean more agreement IMO.

And, do tell more about SSR!  The GMs going south were for this, but where are the wagons coming from?  Which gauge are they moving to?  Because in 6 months time, all going well, we will be seeing the SG network extended to Mildura etc (with the other lines soon in another 12 months or so).
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
...........
There is no word on the amount of grain going outward form the port, you can't keeping bring it in, especially by train, in the thousands of tonne's at a time. Are the ships removing the grain quick enough, what's the storage capacity at the port's ?


BigShunter.
BigShunter
This is the part of the grain industry that many don't seem to understand at all.
Export Grain terminals have a certain capacity, if there is an export sales glitch or the buyer has limited capacity at the discharge port overseas, then shipping is delayed.
There can be delays with shipping at any time and if the terminal can't load a ship (for whatever reason), then the terminal can not accept any grain.

This has happened a lot at Port Lincoln in SA, once the terminal silos are full, they won't accept deliveries, grain is held at outlying silos, the trains stop = System Shut down! Once loading to ship is underway again, and storage space is freed up at the terminal, the system then begins to flow again.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I was referring to the system as a whole.  Track maintenance/condition, flexibility, bureaucracy, rolling stock, operators, lack of modern broad gauge locos etc.

Interestingly, SSR looks like it's about to become very involved in moving grain in Vic....

Oh I agree there are many other issues, but if the network were bigger, I'm pretty sure they'd be sorted out.  Greater volumes mean more agreement IMO.  The oligopoly we have


And, do tell more about SSR!  The GMs going south were for this, but where are the wagons coming from?  Which gauge are they moving to?  Because in 6 months time, all going well, we will be seeing the SG network extended to Mildura etc (with the other lines soon in another 12 months or so).
james.au

The SSR train will be on SG and use the converted ex Leigh Ck coal hoppers.

As for this ongoing bollocks about QUBE's loco fleet - it's keeping grain on rail. PN walked away from its responsibilities and QUBE filled the gap. James if any of the other operators had filled the gap they too would be running an antiques roadshow. You can't just sprinkle fairy dust and get a fleet of $6m dollar locos - especially on BG.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW

The SSR train will be on SG and use the converted ex Leigh Ck coal hoppers.

As for this ongoing bollocks about QUBE's loco fleet - it's keeping grain on rail. PN walked away from its responsibilities and QUBE filled the gap. James if any of the other operators had filled the gap they too would be running an antiques roadshow. You can't just sprinkle fairy dust and get a fleet of $6m dollar locos - especially on BG.
bingley hall

Thanks for the SSR info.  So not on BG....

And you pretty well miss my point spectacularly about the antiques rail show.  These are the lengths that Qube has to go to to keep to their contracts.  I bet it costs a bit more to use a large number of small locos in terms o increased fuel, handling and maintenance costs than larger locos would.  Im not complaining about it, just pointing out how the BG fleet is struggling to do what is asked for it and suggesting that it is more of a reason to convert more to SG.  You don't need to sprinkle any money - the decent sized locos are already there on SG doing their job.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

1) The very large harvest has meant that due to a hopelessly inadequate rail system, trucks have had to take up the slack and thus haul a higher percentage of grain than rail.  More grain has been hauled by rail this year than last, but it should've been a lot more.
What is the inadequacy?

The rail network is fixed.  Id say the inadequacy is the rail operators.  PN had industrial action.  QUBE has had to resort to the antiques rail show to meet its contracts.  

If SSR, CFCLA, GWA or other rolling stock operators could have joined the market quickly and easily this problem wouldnt have arisen.

You all know where I'm going with this....
james.au
A question, is there enough rolling stock, both grain wagons and loco's, also what about drivers, these seem to be quite a scarce person these days.

Another point is these are private companies trying to make a profit, I do not believe they could sit on a couple of  hundred spare grain wagons just so bumper harvest could be handled, this is exactly where governments are able to come to the rescue.

A final point, last year when one of the local farmers was taking grain down to Geelong he said in port was a ship entirely loaded with new road going grain trucks, is ANYONE in the railways even thinking in this scale of expansion.

woodford
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
This is the part of the grain industry that many don't seem to understand at all.
Export Grain terminals have a certain capacity, if there is an export sales glitch or the buyer has limited capacity at the discharge port overseas, then shipping is delayed.
There can be delays with shipping at any time and if the terminal can't load a ship (for whatever reason), then the terminal can not accept any grain.

This has happened a lot at Port Lincoln in SA, once the terminal silos are full, they won't accept deliveries, grain is held at outlying silos, the trains stop = System Shut down! Once loading to ship is underway again, and storage space is freed up at the terminal, the system then begins to flow again.
Pressman

Good one Pressman, at least someone else can see the trees amoungst the bush.

Some Nimb-Rod whom half writes an article, on a subject that they obviously have zero knowledge, have done zero research on, have asked zero questions and obviously has an agenda, has some people worked up into a frenzy.

Daniel Andrew's gets "another" public flogging, what minister is in charge, the rail system is in total melt down and Victrack and whom ever else should hang their heads in shame arrrrrr !!!!!

How about this scenario, perhaps the Port Authority said the next few months are going to be quite on the shipping front, we'll take minimum deliveries by train and are happy to take deliveries by truck, that way we can keep the place running, would this be possibility ??

It's not always what is written or said, but what is NOT written or said.

Trash media, not news.

BigShunter.

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