Koolyanobbing Iron Ore to end

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'd think that converting the South West would provide economies by allowing a single fleet of locomotives and vehicles to operate both the South West and the now much reduced Kalgoorlie operations.
M636C
Which part are you referring to as the south west M636C?

Here is the network map for reference

http://www.arcinfra.com/ARCInfrastructure/media/documents/Network%20Specifications/ARC_Map_Network.pdf

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The rest of the network has grain traffic in the hands of CBH and Watco.
M636C

It is also very telling to me that a grain cooperative had to go out and buy its own locos and wagons (previously they were provided by WAGR) to haul its grain around - no-one else would make the investment...  Im sure if the lines were SG, PN et al would have been the rolling stock purchaser and we would probably see grain trains positioning across the Nullarbor from time to time.
  M636C Minister for Railways

I'd think that converting the South West would provide economies by allowing a single fleet of locomotives and vehicles to operate both the South West and the now much reduced Kalgoorlie operations.
Which part are you referring to as the south west M636C?

Here is the network map for reference

http://www.arcinfra.com/ARCInfrastructure/media/documents/Network%20Specifications/ARC_Map_Network.pdf
james.au
I thought I'd said earlier, but Kwinana to Bunbury and Collie. Basically everything still in use.

The line to Albany is called the "Great Southern" by locals, having been initiated as a private line with that name.

The South West carries quite heavy traffic for the bauxite, alumina, and aluminium industries in the area and coal from the mines at Collie. It is well within the capabilities of 1067mm gauge, but is an isolated pocket of heavy duty operation.

As to CBH having to buy new wagons, Aurizon had hundreds of wagons for grain traffic. The standard gauge grain wagons were too big for use in the East and were scrapped but some of the  narrow gauge wagons are operating out of Carrington (Newcastle) these days (on SG bogies of course). The CBH wagon design was quite closely based on the more recent Aurizon NG wagons, although they were of higher capacity.

I think Aurizon just asked for too much money for the grain traffic, as well as having a poor reputation with their customers.

Peter
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The South Western Line is currently carrying around 20-million tonnes per annum of aluminium industry traffic and coal. It's certainly one of the jewels in Aurizon's Bulk Division crown.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I've had a dig around the Arc Infrastructure website and see what you mean M636C.  At 250-300 km all up it may not cost too much and given the tonnages might stack up.

I guess the operators (or end customers) need to ask for it to happen first though...
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What is the south west line ?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Check out this link

http://www.arcinfra.com/Rail-Network/Rail-Map/South-West

Essentially all south of Kwinana through to Bunbury etc.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Let no one forget that conversion from NG to SG is not just a case of moving one rail. It requires new sleepers, new formation, new alignment and a heap of ballast at the very least.
To all intents and purposes it means a totally new railway.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I wouldn't think the efficiency of conversion to standard gauge would outweigh the cost of doing so. Narrow gauge is handling the job fine it seems.

I was told the bridges over Collie river were made wide enough to handle standard gauge if it ever came down.

As for Aurizon there is work out there just got chase it. I think there is something like 25 road trains a day out of Newmont Boddington. They are using 120ton gross,  quad axle trailers now on some rigs. Spend some time at Bunbury port and watch the trucks roll in. Bunbury exports wheat too. Guess how it arrives there.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I wouldn't think the efficiency of conversion to standard gauge would outweigh the cost of doing so. Narrow gauge is handling the job fine it seems.

I was told the bridges over Collie river were made wide enough to handle standard gauge if it ever came down.

As for Aurizon there is work out there just got chase it. I think there is something like 25 road trains a day out of Newmont Boddington. They are using 120ton gross,  quad axle trailers now on some rigs. Spend some time at Bunbury port and watch the trucks roll in. Bunbury exports wheat too. Guess how it arrives there.
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I wouldn't think the efficiency of conversion to standard gauge would outweigh the cost of doing so. Narrow gauge is handling the job fine it seems.
DB class
I argued the same about broad gauge in Victoria and how it is getting overly pointless to convert more lines
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I wouldn't think the efficiency of conversion to standard gauge would outweigh the cost of doing so. Narrow gauge is handling the job fine it seems.

I was told the bridges over Collie river were made wide enough to handle standard gauge if it ever came down.

As for Aurizon there is work out there just got chase it. I think there is something like 25 road trains a day out of Newmont Boddington. They are using 120ton gross,  quad axle trailers now on some rigs. Spend some time at Bunbury port and watch the trucks roll in. Bunbury exports wheat too. Guess how it arrives there.
DBclass
Yeah im not disagreeing, or prosecuting the case for SG here.  One of the limiting factors for BG in Victoria is the fact that rollingstock operators were saying they would not invest in new BG rollingstock and all freight would move to road. We are not yet at that stage.

Though if Aurizon made a compelling case that cost of freight could be lowered if SG operations were in place, maybe that could be the trigger...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We are talking $$$$ squillions to build SG railways in the SW of WA to what benefit. The existing NG can move everything that needs to be moved. OK build a few new NG wagons/locos if you like but to build new SG would require a huge Pilbara like traffic task.
Just look at what moves on modern NG in Bananaland.
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
We are talking $$$$ squillions to build SG railways in the SW of WA to what benefit. The existing NG can move everything that needs to be moved. OK build a few new NG wagons/locos if you like but to build new SG would require a huge Pilbara like traffic task. Just look at what moves on modern NG in Bananaland.
YM-mundrumbilla
like I said I argued the same for BG in vic, IMO you are kind of being a hypocritical
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
We are talking $$$$ squillions to build SG railways in the SW of WA to what benefit. The existing NG can move everything that needs to be moved. OK build a few new NG wagons/locos if you like but to build new SG would require a huge Pilbara like traffic task.
Just look at what moves on modern NG in Bananaland.
YM-Mundrabilla
Totally agree - if theres no economic benefit, then dont do it.  But if there is maybe it is worth considering, just like any other infrastructure project...
  M636C Minister for Railways

We are talking $$$$ squillions to build SG railways in the SW of WA to what benefit. The existing NG can move everything that needs to be moved. OK build a few new NG wagons/locos if you like but to build new SG would require a huge Pilbara like traffic task.
Just look at what moves on modern NG in Bananaland.
YM-Mundrabilla
Assuming that the closed and inactive connecting lines won't be reactivated, the South West is an isolated section of 1067 gauge with an end on connection to dual gauge at Kwinana.

I thought that as part of regular maintenance, dual gauge sleepers could be laid on the line to Bunbury and later to Collie and the surrounding mines. Such sleepers are in use on the lines East of Geraldton, apparently not causing any difficulties.

But the locomotives in particular are too heavy to be used on much of the other 1067 lines in WA, with the exception of the iron ore lines out of Geraldton.

The aluminium and related industries have been consistent business since the early 1960s. As far as I know, only a few of the earliest bauxite wagons were taken out of service and these were sold to New Zealand for coal traffic in the South Island. If the track gauge alone was altered, with minimum other changes, locomotives and wagons could be moved to and from the area, and the line could absorb some of the locomotives and possibly wagons being released from the Esperance and Kwinana ore trains.

As it is, last time I was in Merriden, just over six months ago there was a complete Aurizon operated, CFCLA owned Kwinana ore train, more than two years after it was last used. Soon, Avon Yard will be full of ore wagons just as it was full of grain wagons after CBH took over the grain traffic.

Alternatively, perhaps UGL could be prevailed upon to provide new narrow gauge bogies for some of the ACs, ACBs and 6020s, of the type fitted to the PHs. The PHs are the same weight, apparently, so it might not be a big problem, and the clearances should be acceptable on the South West. This would release ACNs for further use in Queensland if required.

If energy costs and emissions concerns closed the Aluminium smelter on Cockburn Sound, virtually everything in the South West would shut down, although some Bauxite and alumina might be exported.

Western Australia has been involved in mining for many years and you don't have to look far to see closed mines, abandoned (or nearly so) towns from Wittenoom and Marble Bar in the North to Ravensthorpe in the South. Some towns, like Goldsworthy, have completely disappeared.

With a common gauge, redeployment of rail assets would be much easier. This applies to new industries in an old area as much as the closing of established industries.

Peter
  nswtrains Deputy Commissioner

We are talking $$$$ squillions to build SG railways in the SW of WA to what benefit. The existing NG can move everything that needs to be moved. OK build a few new NG wagons/locos if you like but to build new SG would require a huge Pilbara like traffic task.
Just look at what moves on modern NG in Bananaland.
Assuming that the closed and inactive connecting lines won't be reactivated, the South West is an isolated section of 1067 gauge with an end on connection to dual gauge at Kwinana.

I thought that as part of regular maintenance, dual gauge sleepers could be laid on the line to Bunbury and later to Collie and the surrounding mines. Such sleepers are in use on the lines East of Geraldton, apparently not causing any difficulties.

But the locomotives in particular are too heavy to be used on much of the other 1067 lines in WA, with the exception of the iron ore lines out of Geraldton.

The aluminium and related industries have been consistent business since the early 1960s. As far as I know, only a few of the earliest bauxite wagons were taken out of service and these were sold to New Zealand for coal traffic in the South Island. If the track gauge alone was altered, with minimum other changes, locomotives and wagons could be moved to and from the area, and the line could absorb some of the locomotives and possibly wagons being released from the Esperance and Kwinana ore trains.

As it is, last time I was in Merriden, just over six months ago there was a complete Aurizon operated, CFCLA owned Kwinana ore train, more than two years after it was last used. Soon, Avon Yard will be full of ore wagons just as it was full of grain wagons after CBH took over the grain traffic.

Alternatively, perhaps UGL could be prevailed upon to provide new narrow gauge bogies for some of the ACs, ACBs and 6020s, of the type fitted to the PHs. The PHs are the same weight, apparently, so it might not be a big problem, and the clearances should be acceptable on the South West. This would release ACNs for further use in Queensland if required.

If energy costs and emissions concerns closed the Aluminium smelter on Cockburn Sound, virtually everything in the South West would shut down, although some Bauxite and alumina might be exported.

Western Australia has been involved in mining for many years and you don't have to look far to see closed mines, abandoned (or nearly so) towns from Wittenoom and Marble Bar in the North to Ravensthorpe in the South. Some towns, like Goldsworthy, have completely disappeared.

With a common gauge, redeployment of rail assets would be much easier. This applies to new industries in an old area as much as the closing of established industries.

Peter
M636C
The lack of a standard gauge everywhere in Australia is an Albatross across the neck of the Australian economy.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I agree a uniform gauge would be ideal. One thing the South West of WA has against it though, is the lack of distance for competing against road transport. For startup requiring any capital investment it is very hard it seems to get it going. For example the spur line to Kemerton Industrial Park. Land is allocated to it but it hasn’t happened, and it’s all of what, 10km of rail. Alcoa is doing a two year trial for exporting bauxite from its Wagerup site I think, out of Bunbury port. They are using trucks, 5 per hour I think it was. Put that in perspective, there is a train of hoppers sitting idle at Picton, and Collie I think, rail to Alcoa, rail to port, just need to reinstate and repair the line to the old Bunbury power station as I believe that is where they are going to store it but may be wrong there, and rail is a goer. But seems the smallest of investment is too hard. I realise it’s a trial and it would require unloading equipment, but in the USA there are portable rail car unloaders. Seems if you have a bit of initiative you can make it happen, but they are waiting for it to land in their lap from my point of view.

The coal train from Collie to Geraldton was lost to road as the train cannot back load with mineral from the plant. I was told it was being shipped to Capel. Again a small investment would see that task retained.

I am hoping Watco take on some jobs over here and have a go at it. Would be good to see.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I am hoping Watco take on some jobs over here and have a go at it. Would be good to see.
DBclass
I think that this is key.

I have been thinking through the logic of what more operators might mean for the WA network.  On the one hand, youve got Brookfield/ARC who are a monopolist provider of the infrastructure.  Fine.

On the grain side, Aurizon couldn't come to an agreement with Brookfield and CBH to haul grain necessitating CBH going and buying its own fleet.  Reading into this, the farmers probably had to give up profit margin to buy this fleet and so it might be costing them more in the long run.  Maybe they didnt give up profit margin and merely internalised the profit margin Aurizon had on the table, but I suspect they had to compromise something to get rail haulage happening.

If another organisation, such as SSR, who is looking to chase business that others turn down was to be present in the WA market, maybe the outcome would have been different.  Who knows, it may also be the case that another SSR type organisation could arise if there is sufficient volume to support them.  As has been said in relation to the Murray Basin and as ive seen referenced about SW Queensland, an increase in rail operators would lead to more rail transport solutions, instead of moving the job to road.

The other point to make again is that road transport doesnt pay a per tonne km charge for road usage unlike rail does.  Until this is fixed, rail is always going to be competing in an uneven market.
  antiussentiment Locomotive Driver

Location: perth
"
The other point to make again is that road transport doesnt pay a per tonne km charge for road usage unlike rail does.  Until this is fixed, rail is always going to be competing in an uneven market."

Yep, trucks only work because tax payers fund them so heavily..
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
"
The other point to make again is that road transport doesnt pay a per tonne km charge for road usage unlike rail does.  Until this is fixed, rail is always going to be competing in an uneven market."

Yep, trucks only work because tax payers fund them so heavily..
antiussentiment
The road price charging system Is bound to change In the coming years as fuel tax revenue Is falling (electric cars paying zero) vehicles using less fuel per km In general (as technology Improves)
Road maintenance and construction costs are surging (quality of road works Is heavily declining, through cost cutting)  

But expect a very heated debate about the Introduction of a proposed new pricing system.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

It would appear that Koolyanobbing and the Esperance port operations are back from the dead...

http://www.publicnow.com/view/49D550188F1A4316F123879A998614560578D136
  Toad Montgomery Chief Commissioner

Location: Port Hedland: Team EMU want's YOU!
The final loaded Cliffs service was 7419 through Binduli (West Kalgoorlie) around 0100 hrs Sunday 10th June, was due to arrive Esperance 1000 hrs.
Prior to this, loaded 7415 arrived Esperance about 0015 hrs 10/06/2018.
And 7417 was last heard through Cowan 0320 hrs 10/06/2018.

Two movements of locos were due into West Kalgoorlie this afternoon, departing Esperance as 5414 and 5416.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The final loaded Cliffs service was 7419 through Binduli (West Kalgoorlie) around 0100 hrs Sunday 10th June, was due to arrive Esperance 1000 hrs.
Prior to this, loaded 7415 arrived Esperance about 0015 hrs 10/06/2018.
And 7417 was last heard through Cowan 0320 hrs 10/06/2018.

Two movements of locos were due into West Kalgoorlie this afternoon, departing Esperance as 5414 and 5416.
Toad Montgomery
Sensible old fashioned train numbers - wonderful ExclamationSmile

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