Murray Basin standardisation

 
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
It is good to hear that one of the Major customers (Wakefields) appears to be happy with the line and not listening to RRA.

http://www.sunraysiadaily.com.au/story/5499837/ken-wakefield-backs-rail-line-change/
Jack Le Lievre
I'll give Wakefields a big thumbs up. The shutdown during the conversion could have been used as an excuse to put it all on the highway to Melbourne, but they just did the loading at Manangatang instead and only partly used the highway.

The tonnages being moved of late suggest that they are quite happy with the outcome. They might need more room at Merbein with these long trans as it must be a bit of a task to assemble the entire train.

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
One thing to be careful of is that the users are loath to criticise the rail network in public, and bite the hand that feeds them.  After all, this project is a big subsidy to them (refer to the business case, over 2/3rds of the benefits are lower transport costs to users).

This is not unique to this project.  I have heard that PN has issues with the Inland Rail project in that they want passing lanes, not loops, so they don't have to slow down the trains to a stop (but in all formal comms they are pro the project 100%), and I know with Fixing Country Rail in NSW, some users have multiple applications in the field and so don't criticise TfNSW on one front in case they lose out on another...
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
The tonnages being moved of late suggest that they are quite happy with the outcome. They might need more room at Merbein with these long trans as it must be a bit of a task to assemble the entire train.
mikesyd
To me, real success here would be if another intermodal terminal opened in Mildura...
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
The tonnages being moved of late suggest that they are quite happy with the outcome. They might need more room at Merbein with these long trans as it must be a bit of a task to assemble the entire train.
To me, real success here would be if another intermodal terminal opened in Mildura...
james.au
and you would see far more trains up there is all the loops where in service, the south bound link at Ararat was installed, and there was a loop in place between Ararat and Marybough. They will be doing their best to get grain from up country our over the next 3-4 months so there's room for the coming harvest. They wouldn't have come close to getting last years out before the line closed.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What facilities have been maintained at the end of the line at Yelta ?

Just a simple run around loop.

Given they gutted Mildura yard several years ago (the local Council wanting to re develop the area as parklands) the redundant disconnected Mildura turntable should be moved to the very end of the line at Yelta (no turnouts to maintain)
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

80lb/yard is around 40kg/m btw.

How does a railway manage the transition from one type to another?
Traditionally different rail sections (weights) were joined by specially forged fishplates, made to suit a different section on each end. They were supplied in pairs as there was an inner and outer plate.

Railway workshops would make 'junction rails' where a piece of rail was forged and pressed to have a different section at each end. The junction rail could be bolted or welded into the track.

Current practice is to use alumnothermic 'junction welds'. The welder carefully aligns the running surfaces and the gauge faces, and uses special moulds to accommodate the two different rail sections.

Standard moulds that had been 'field modified' (ahem!) along with copious amounts of luting sand may have also been used.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

80lb/yard is around 40kg/m btw.

How does a railway manage the transition from one type to another?
Traditionally different rail sections (weights) were joined by specially forged fishplates, made to suit a different section on each end. They were supplied in pairs as there was an inner and outer plate.

Railway workshops would make 'junction rails' where a piece of rail was forged and pressed to have a different section at each end. The junction rail could be bolted or welded into the track.

Current practice is to use alumnothermic 'junction welds'. The welder carefully aligns the running surfaces and the gauge faces, and uses special moulds to accommodate the two different rail sections.

Standard moulds that had been 'field modified' (ahem!) along with copious amounts of luting sand may have also been used.
Lockspike
.............and expect a rail break in future as a result (fault emanating from the foot on the small rail side). Wink

Forged junction rails are superior when stepping rail sizes.  Small increments in rail size does not really matter, say 47kg to 50kg (special care not to have a notch in the foot, finish it well), though when going from 47kg to 60kg we used two junction rails 47kg to 53kg to 60kg, the application with 25MGT per year called for it.  Junction welds were failing within 25MGT for example.
  SEMartin Chief Train Controller

Location: Canberra ACT
The tonnages being moved of late suggest that they are quite happy with the outcome. They might need more room at Merbein with these long trans as it must be a bit of a task to assemble the entire train.
To me, real success here would be if another intermodal terminal opened in Mildura...
james.au
Any prospective 2nd terminal in Mildura would only work if it was going after the larger pool of traffic that is 'contestable' from road haulage, rather than the usual story of cannibalising the smaller pool of existing on-rail freight flows. Otherwise, a 2nd terminal would be a waste of private (and public) money.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The tonnages being moved of late suggest that they are quite happy with the outcome. They might need more room at Merbein with these long trans as it must be a bit of a task to assemble the entire train.
To me, real success here would be if another intermodal terminal opened in Mildura...
Any prospective 2nd terminal in Mildura would only work if it was going after the larger pool of traffic that is 'contestable' from road haulage, rather than the usual story of cannibalising the smaller pool of existing on-rail freight flows. Otherwise, a 2nd terminal would be a waste of private (and public) money.
SEMartin

Some people have no idea of the potential for rail traffic to/from Mildura.

18 months ago, before the SG works had commenced I was driving midweek, early to late afternoon from Bendigo to Mildura and counted over 70 south bound semi-trailers or B doubles.

Mike.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

But not all of that is “rail-able”.  There’s an article floating around somewhere about Anthony Albanese proudly announcing, when he was infrastructure minister, that Woolies would be putting yoghurt on trains from Brisbane to Melbourne or something like that. Possibly after the extra SG track was built into Dynon around 2009?

Of course within a few DAYS Woolies realised that delayed interstate trains and dairy products were not a good combination, so the traffic was withdrawn.

It’s not hard to imagine that a good deal of general freight to Mildura is “just-in-time”, given that there are few bulk products coming in or out.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Some people have no idea of the potential for rail traffic to/from Mildura.

18 months ago, before the SG works had commenced I was driving midweek, early to late afternoon from Bendigo to Mildura and counted over 70 south bound semi-trailers or B doubles.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Agreed there are volumes but where are they going?  If export, its probably a no-brainer.  If domestic (including to SYD etc), it might be more challenging given last mile costs.

It needs someone like SCT with an integrated approach to do it properly - they could easily feed into Sydney, Perth and Brisbane markets on top of Melbourne.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Some people have no idea of the potential for rail traffic to/from Mildura.

18 months ago, before the SG works had commenced I was driving midweek, early to late afternoon from Bendigo to Mildura and counted over 70 south bound semi-trailers or B doubles.

Mike.
The Vinelander

Mike like you I am very aware of the immense volume of rail loading available in Mildura and the need for an Intermodal Terminal (probably around Redcliffs) for load and unloading.  There is also the ability for OIL and CEMENT as previously run.

I am unaware of any non-railable traffic to and from Mildura, but the fact is the Murray Basin project has let the network down through lack of capacity and design.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
Last year when getting the first Qube BG grain from Nullawil we were talking to one of the blokes who was working at the small container joint at the silos, loading chick peas into 20' boxes for export. They were putting them on trucks, not just because there'sno hard stand there on the line, but the different containers needed to go to different terminals- some were for Appleton Dock, others for DP World.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Last year when getting the first Qube BG grain from Nullawil we were talking to one of the blokes who was working at the small container joint at the silos, loading chick peas into 20' boxes for export. They were putting them on trucks, not just because there'sno hard stand there on the line, but the different containers needed to go to different terminals- some were for Appleton Dock, others for DP World.
Greensleeves

I could well Imagine that, but why is this a problem for rail?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I am unaware of any non-railable traffic to and from Mildura, but the fact is the Murray Basin project has let the network down through lack of capacity and design.
beans
I think the project has been limited by considering existing users and traffic, not prospective ones.

And I think that the structure of the industry may limit operator formation.  But that requires more thinking and another thread.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Last year when getting the first Qube BG grain from Nullawil we were talking to one of the blokes who was working at the small container joint at the silos, loading chick peas into 20' boxes for export. They were putting them on trucks, not just because there'sno hard stand there on the line, but the different containers needed to go to different terminals- some were for Appleton Dock, others for DP World.

I could well Imagine that, but why is this a problem for rail?
bevans
Last mile costs - some of those containers require trucking the last part of the way.  Also, the train may need to be split, though this is an easier obstacle to overcome.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Containers do not need to be trucked for Appleton Dock and DP World.  They can be delivered via rail like they once were and are today.

Trains are broken up every day in the MFT and North Dynon.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Containers do not need to be trucked for Appleton Dock and DP World.
bevans
As I understand they almost get all the way.  The sidings don't have the ability for the cranes to unload direct from trains and so they need to use trucks for the last bit.  As I understand it though.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
As I understand they almost get all the way.  The sidings don't have the ability for the cranes to unload direct from trains and so they need to use trucks for the last bit.  As I understand it though.
james.au

Not true. DP World is used each and every day by Dooen Goods.  Appleton dock has loading and unloading cranes.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
I think it's more that to use a certain port they have to use a certain operator. Appleton Dock is only ever used by PN; Swanson Dock (DP World) 99% of the time is SCT, and QUBE run into Victoria Dock.

If the ports were open access then I'm sure there would be more going in via rail, but they certainly don't seem to be.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think it's more that to use a certain port they have to use a certain operator. Appleton Dock is only ever used by PN; Swanson Dock (DP World) 99% of the time is SCT, and QUBE run into Victoria Dock.

If the ports were open access then I'm sure there would be more going in via rail, but they certainly don't seem to be.
Greensleeves

SSR are also using Appleton Dock.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
I'm talking about container traffic not grain. SSR and QUBE have both ran grain into Appleton Dock, but neither have done containers there.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Agreed there are volumes but where are they going?  If export, its probably a no-brainer.  If domestic (including to SYD etc), it might be more challenging given last mile costs.

It needs someone like SCT with an integrated approach to do it properly - they could easily feed into Sydney, Perth and Brisbane markets on top of Melbourne.
james.au
james, if Mikelander passed the trucks between Mildura and Bendigo, Melbourne is more than likely the destination, probably for export, but an off chance to market.

BigShunter.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I'm talking about container traffic not grain.
Greensleeves

Agreed.  If SSR wanted to run a train to Appleton Dock (which I understand is multi-use) then I understand this would be possible?

Aurizon I believe also ran some containers to Appleton Dock?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think it's more that to use a certain port they have to use a certain operator. Appleton Dock is only ever used by PN; Swanson Dock (DP World) 99% of the time is SCT, and QUBE run into Victoria Dock.

If the ports were open access then I'm sure there would be more going in via rail, but they certainly don't seem to be.
Greensleeves
Is there any contractual agreement between DPW and SCT?  I seem to recall them doing a tie up at Botany.

I wonder if this is anticompetitive?

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