Vocal senator turns attention to rail investment

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 06 Dec 2018 16:33
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Senator Hinch is now questioning why an upgrade to the Portland Rail Line was not included in the Murray Basin Rail Upgrades, and why not?

Why wasn't the network to Portland also upgraded as part of the project?

I have queried the scope of this project several times but never considered Portland as an upgrade.

Does Senator Hinch know about the Portland to SA truck movements with regard to woodchip traffic?  May be he could get some federal money to assist in upgrading this line to SG and working with local companies in Portland and the Port to begin receiving these materials via rail.

Vocal senator turns attention to rail investment

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

“...all you need to do is upgrade the sleepers, which seems like a piece of cake.”

Righto.

Surely mods we can lock this and discuss the article/“intervention” in the main MBRP thread.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Senator Hinch is now questioning why an upgrade to the Portland Rail Line was not included in the Murray Basin Rail Upgrades, and why not?

Why wasn't the network to Portland also upgraded as part of the project?

I have queried the scope of this project several times but never considered Portland as an upgrade.

Does Senator Hinch know about the Portland to SA truck movements with regard to woodchip traffic?  May be he could get some federal money to assist in upgrading this line to SG and working with local companies in Portland and the Port to begin receiving these materials via rail.

Vocal senator turns attention to rail investment
x31
WORDS FAIL ME !!

converted to SG in 1995.

@x31 you've already had a Portland go at https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11398820.htm
why another thread?

cheers
John
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Ok, a bit more from Mondy's Portland Observer without the politicians waffle.

"The importance of the rail link is not lost locally, Port of Portland chief executive Greg Tremewen listing it as his number one priority in the Observer in the lead up to the state election. The project, estimated to cost between $20 million and $30 million, would allow a 23-tonne axle loading on the line, in line with the rest of the Murray Basin upgrade, allowing trains with that loading to travel at 80km/h. At present the axle loading is 19-tonne, meaning trains with heavier wagons will simply go east to Geelong or Melbourne instead of heading to Portland. Glenelg Shire Council estimates that upgrading the line would take 68,000 truck trips in the region off the roads each year. Senator Hinch was one a range of federal politicians and their staff that Cr Rank and Mr Burgoyne met during a visit to Canberra on Monday last week. The discussions were largely based around infrastructure for the shire, renewables and energy policy more broadly and agriculture."

Rick
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Thank you @RustyRick for your post which now provides reasons why the Portland Line should be considered for upgrade and given it is not in the SCOPE for the MBRP then it should not be considered as a part of the MBRP thread.

I am suggesting that this line be upgraded and the line to Mount Gambier be bought back into service.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Yet another example of the tail wagging the dog.

There is no holistic understanding of freight flows in Victoria. If anything is to be learned from the MBRP and its issues, it is that the economics of freight transport are volatile, and planning needs to be carried out at a very high level before specific "problems" are attacked.

There is no compelling reason to upgrade Portland to 23TAL if an overall strategy to move bulk and intermodal freight to rail is not in place.
  BigShunter Deputy Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
I actually thought, there was an allocation of money to upgrade the line to 21 tonne, as part of and too match the MBRP.

Had a bit of snoop and found this, from Trainplanner, whom has flown the coop, it would seem.

Trainplanner

This is great news that there is now firm funding both state and federal to get this happening.   This announcement comes on the heels of the contract for concrete sleepers which has already been reported on so there is solid progress in that regard.   I also understand that as part of the upgrade and reinstatement of the Maryborough to Ararat section which will be the first section to be done, agreement has been reached between ARTC and Victorian parties on the junction configuration at Ararat to enable through movements off the Maryborough Line to the ARTC main (Maroona).

Complementing this is a program to rehabilitate and strengthen the Maroona to Portland Line for 21 tonne axleload, to complement the 21 tonne axleload standard the project is delivering elsewhere.   It is understood this is line with proposals to boost rail business through Portland Port.

The only issue up in the air (and for me a no brainer) is a review of the current proposal to dual gauge all the way from Maryborough to Gheringhap.   This may very likely be just dual gauge only between Maryborough and Ballarat.

In reard to increased rail freight opportunities it is my understanding that 2 train operating companies plus GrainCorp are watching developments in Victoria very closely to increase business.   This is in addition to Illuka Sands and their medium to long term plans are already known as stated in the business case etc.


https://www.railpage.com.au/f-po-quote-2011877.htm ............link to post

The upgrade to 21 tonne, at least would be common sense.......Laughing

BigShunter.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
If you look at Gheringhap feeds the BG has been getting quite a bit of work over the past few weeks.  

Why would they be doing this heavy maintenance with SG only going through?
  justarider Chief Train Controller

...to complement the 21 tonne axleload standard the project is delivering elsewhere.   It is understood this is line with proposals to boost rail business through Portland Port.
....
In reard to increased rail freight opportunities it is my understanding that 2 train operating companies plus GrainCorp are watching developments in Victoria very closely to increase business.  ..

The upgrade to 21 tonne, at least would be common sense.......Laughing

BigShunter.
BigShunter
A fair bit of supposition here shunter.

Grain companies "to increase business" is good news but can't assume that's Portland.
The GrainCorp loader is pretty chockers at the Port, and no room to expand it.

The woodchips take up all the space (1.6M tonne pa). Grain is "just" 0.3M tonne.
http://www.graincorp.com.au/contact-locations/Portland

The port makes it's money (in order of scale aka revenue)
chips
logs
bauxite  (to feed the smelter)
grain
Don't see the Port being enthused to carve out more space for grain at the expense of their bigger customers.

Does Senator Hinch know about the Portland to SA truck movements with regard to woodchip traffic? May be he could get some federal money to assist in upgrading this line to SG and working with local companies in Portland and the Port to begin receiving these materials via rail.
X31
Never going to happen. And that is a very long time.

Woodchips and logs are being loaded onto trucks in the middle of the forests(where the trees are). The loading site is constantly moved as the coop expands, and then off to the next coop.
Trains cannot do that EVER.

The real beef that the council has is the damage that all the truck movements do to the roads.
The council has a good case to implement a user pays regime to ensure the logging companies fairly contribute. That's an argument politicians like Mr Hinch can assist. Rail is just a distraction.

cheers
John
  BigShunter Deputy Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
...to complement the 21 tonne axleload standard the project is delivering elsewhere.   It is understood this is line with proposals to boost rail business through Portland Port.
....
In reard to increased rail freight opportunities it is my understanding that 2 train operating companies plus GrainCorp are watching developments in Victoria very closely to increase business.  ..

The upgrade to 21 tonne, at least would be common sense.......Laughing

BigShunter.
A fair bit of supposition here shunter.

Grain companies "to increase business" is good news but can't assume that's Portland.
The GrainCorp loader is pretty chockers at the Port, and no room to expand it.

The woodchips take up all the space (1.6M tonne pa). Grain is "just" 0.3M tonne.
http://www.graincorp.com.au/contact-locations/Portland

The port makes it's money (in order of scale aka revenue)
chips
logs
bauxite  (to feed the smelter)
grain
Don't see the Port being enthused to carve out more space for grain at the expense of their bigger customers.
justarider
Yep, I'm aware of the big paying items, that go through the port, the piece I posted was Trainplanners comments.

However I did say the lines axle load could be increased to 21 tonne, but thinking about that now, that's probably not even worth the time, effort and $$$ either, for F/A trains per year.

Maybe  better upgrading the lines to Hopetoun and Rainbow.

BigShunter.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
This is a type of discussion I usually stay away from. I like dealing in verifiable facts, but here's a bit of crystal ball gazing, a bit of rumour, and some facts that I will not verify the source.

Porthaul currently carry containerised wood chips from Mt Gambier to Geelong by truck. They have purchased a large block of land on Darts Rd Portland adjacent to the rail. The rumour is they want to create an intermodal siding so they can transfer containers to rail.

There's also a mill that's just opened in Portland for the sole purpose of cutting square sections between 90mm x 90mm and 150mm x 150mm in lengths up to four metres long for export in containers. The material would be sawn down to smaller sized boards in China, then used to manufacture timber packaging such as pallets. Shipping via rail to Geelong is likely if a siding goes ahead. Chance of siding within 5 years happening 70%.

Most hardwood logs and chips come from plantations north of Heywood and around Casterton. Chances of movement by rail 0% ever

Softwood is mostly harvested south of the Princes Hwy. For transport, the entire line to at least Rennick would have to be reconstructed, and sidings built. Chance of happening - very optimistic 10% in 20 years

Mineral sands. Balranald may fire up within two years with sand going to Hopetoun for transport by rail to Hamilton, then export via Portland. The company has also been testing new refining techniques at Hamilton to allow them to process the spoil at Ouyen that couldn't be initially treated. If that comes off, more shipments to Hamilton / Portland. This is likely to make the Geraldton plant redundant, so all raw material will be shipped to Portland for transport to Hamilton for treatment. Rail opportunity within 5 years 80%.

Grain. Sporadic. I think the Port would love to bulldoze the silos to provide more room for their year round money maker (timber), but the chance of that happening - maybe 20% over 10 years. Chance of increase in area - 0%.

Major (or even minor) container port development. Never going to happen. Too many bulk materials going out and no land for storage.

Passenger rail. Currently it takes about 5 1/2 hours by bus and rail to Melbourne via Warrnambool. Going by road via Hamilton and Ararat is about 400 km and takes 4 1/2 hrs. Probably won't be much time saving using rail as it would probably be restricted to 80 km/h between Portland and Ararat. My guess is nothing will happen unless the rail is upgraded. Ten year outlook 50/50.

Rick
  justarider Chief Train Controller

This is a type of discussion I usually stay away from. I like dealing in verifiable facts, but here's a bit of crystal ball gazing, a bit of rumour, and some facts that I will not verify the source.

Porthaul currently carry containerised wood chips from Mt Gambier to Geelong by truck. They have purchased a large block of land on Darts Rd Portland adjacent to the rail. The rumour is they want to create an intermodal siding so they can transfer containers to rail.

There's also a mill that's just opened in Portland for the sole purpose of cutting square sections between 90mm x 90mm and 150mm x 150mm in lengths up to four metres long for export in containers. The material would be sawn down to smaller sized boards in China, then used to manufacture timber packaging such as pallets. Shipping via rail to Geelong is likely if a siding goes ahead. Chance of siding within 5 years happening 70%.

Most hardwood logs and chips come from plantations north of Heywood and around Casterton. Chances of movement by rail 0% ever

Softwood is mostly harvested south of the Princes Hwy. For transport, the entire line to at least Rennick would have to be reconstructed, and sidings built. Chance of happening - very optimistic 10% in 20 years

Mineral sands. Balranald may fire up within two years with sand going to Hopetoun for transport by rail to Hamilton, then export via Portland. The company has also been testing new refining techniques at Hamilton to allow them to process the spoil at Ouyen that couldn't be initially treated. If that comes off, more shipments to Hamilton / Portland. This is likely to make the Geraldton plant redundant, so all raw material will be shipped to Portland for transport to Hamilton for treatment. Rail opportunity within 5 years 80%.

Grain. Sporadic. I think the Port would love to bulldoze the silos to provide more room for their year round money maker (timber), but the chance of that happening - maybe 20% over 10 years. Chance of increase in area - 0%.

Major (or even minor) container port development. Never going to happen. Too many bulk materials going out and no land for storage.

Passenger rail. Currently it takes about 5 1/2 hours by bus and rail to Melbourne via Warrnambool. Going by road via Hamilton and Ararat is about 400 km and takes 4 1/2 hrs. Probably won't be much time saving using rail as it would probably be restricted to 80 km/h between Portland and Ararat. My guess is nothing will happen unless the rail is upgraded. Ten year outlook 50/50.

Rick
RustyRick
thanks Rick, crystal balls and rumor are a great source.

For rail I take from what you have said, that (apart from sands) an upgrade to rail is wholly within the Port surrounds to move goods from the various storage sites onto the dock.

That's a completely different proposition than upgrade of the main line.

cheers
John
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
John - no, the whole line needs work. The Port area is only a tiny fraction, and and can't easily be expanded because of other infrastructure.

Rick
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Rusty I see your post and I like it.

Why would you say 5 years?  Intermodal terminals can be stood up in months.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Rusty I see your post and I like it.

Why would you say 5 years?  Intermodal terminals can be stood up in months.
x31
I have an idea of Porthaul's timeframe.

Rick
  justarider Chief Train Controller

John - no, the whole line needs work. The Port area is only a tiny fraction, and and can't easily be expanded because of other infrastructure.

Rick
RustyRick
Rick we are at a bit of cross purpose.
By "Port Surrounds" I did mean a fairly wide arc (5Km ?) to capture sites underway at Darts Rd, the new mill, and other likely transfer points.
Sending those containers to Geelong instead of the Portland Port seems a long way round for what could be shipped locally.

The constraint being of course the ship volumes the Port can/could handle, and trains on the dock itself.

cheers
John
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
@BigShunter

The info on the upgrade to Portland-Maroona that was being shared some time ago was based on a facebook or other such post from one of the local MPs, not a formal source, and as such has proven to be worth the paper it is printed on.
  BigShunter Deputy Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
@BigShunter

The info on the upgrade to Portland-Maroona that was being shared some time ago was based on a facebook or other such post from one of the local MPs, not a formal source, and as such has proven to be worth the paper it is printed on.
james.au
Ok, thanks james, the post I put up, was from 2.5 yrs ago.

BigShunter.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
@BigShunter

The info on the upgrade to Portland-Maroona that was being shared some time ago was based on a facebook or other such post from one of the local MPs, not a formal source, and as such has proven to be worth the paper it is printed on.
Ok, thanks james, the post I put up, was from 2.5 yrs ago.

BigShunter.
BigShunter
All good yep i saw.  Just making sure we had the facts here and didn't make up some Railpage Facts!
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

Sending those containers to Geelong instead of the Portland Port seems a long way round for what could be shipped locally.

The constraint being of course the ship volumes the Port can/could handle, and trains on the dock itself.

cheers
John
justarider

To put it in context, the distance between Portland and Geelong is but a pimple on the ar$e of a container's journey.

I also suggest reading up on global shipping patterns, something Senator Hinch might also like to spend 5 minutes on.

No credible shipping line is going to divert to the hick port of Portland to pick up a couple of dozen containers on an irregular basis.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland



The port makes it's money (in order of scale aka revenue)

bauxite  (to feed the smelter)


cheers
John
justarider
They Import Alumina from Western Australia (a product refined from bauxite)
  justarider Chief Train Controller


Sending those containers to Geelong instead of the Portland Port seems a long way round for what could be shipped locally.

The constraint being of course the ship volumes the Port can/could handle, and trains on the dock itself.

cheers
John
To put it in context, the distance between Portland and Geelong is but a pimple on the ar$e of a container's journey.

I also suggest reading up on global shipping patterns, something Senator Hinch might also like to spend 5 minutes on.

No credible shipping line is going to divert to the hick port of Portland to pick up a couple of dozen containers on an irregular basis.
bingley hall
Bing, that's true.
So it means the exporters would need to put together a ship-load (not a typo) of cargo.

For the current chips and logs, they sure do fill up a ship each.

Since the containers we are discussing also contain chips and logs (albeit slightly different form) then the volumes anticipated may be sufficient to fill a ship - certainly one between them.
Any other forwarder with a container to go , gets a bonus.

How the logistics work out remains to be seen. If the shippers at Portland put a business case together that works for them, then that will be the freight proposal that they will pursue.
Then the ship companies can look at their own economics to decide.

cheers
John
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

Sending those containers to Geelong instead of the Portland Port seems a long way round for what could be shipped locally.

The constraint being of course the ship volumes the Port can/could handle, and trains on the dock itself.

cheers
John
To put it in context, the distance between Portland and Geelong is but a pimple on the ar$e of a container's journey.

I also suggest reading up on global shipping patterns, something Senator Hinch might also like to spend 5 minutes on.

No credible shipping line is going to divert to the hick port of Portland to pick up a couple of dozen containers on an irregular basis.Bing, that's true.
So it means the exporters would need to put together a ship-load (not a typo) of cargo.

For the current chips and logs, they sure do fill up a ship each.

Since the containers we are discussing also contain chips and logs (albeit slightly different form) then the volumes anticipated may be sufficient to fill a ship - certainly one between them.
Any other forwarder with a container to go , gets a bonus.

How the logistics work out remains to be seen. If the shippers at Portland put a business case together that works for them, then that will be the freight proposal that they will pursue.
Then the ship companies can look at their own economics to decide.

cheers
John
justarider

It's just not as simple as that...........but never mind.

And if it is such a good idea, the privately owned Port of Portland won't hesitate to stump of the funding for the rail upgrades?
  justarider Chief Train Controller


It's just not as simple as that...........but never mind.

And if it is such a good idea, the privately owned Port of Portland won't hesitate to stump of the funding for the rail upgrades?
bingley hall
If the Port had their druthers then grain silos would be bulldozed, the fishing fleet would sink, and the wood chips would be a mile high.
No business planning that can be seen, just same old same old. Sometimes need a push from "customers".

Agreed it is not simple. It's bloody hard to get them to do anything.

cheers
John
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Why bulldoze the silos, hat would that achieve?

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