Electro-diesel multiple-units ordered for postal services

 

News article: Electro-diesel multiple-units ordered for postal services

Leasing company Porterbrook is to supply Rail Operations Group with two Flex electro-diesel multiple-units equipped to carry postal and other just-in-time light freight traffic.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The UK returning to rail for postal service and just in time freight.  is there a hope for Australia with the Inland Rail Project coming online?

Electro-diesel multiple-units ordered for postal services

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  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Bring back the mixed!
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Sadly there's lots of bad memories of post getting stolen and reliability problems when Australia Post used rail. I doubt it'll happen again here.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Australia Post use rail extensively... in inner Melbourne at least!

Through the middle of the day it’s a common sight to see postal workers with mail carts travelling between inner-city stations. Makes a lot of sense given how congested those roads are all day.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Britain won't be 'returning' to rail for mail and logistics, as there is a good amount carried by rail already. DB Cargo UK runs up to eight trains each day using the purpose-built Class 325 mail/parcels EMU fleet, plus some on intermodal services and in the luggage van section of certain InterCity 125/225 trains too.

Two extra bi-mode multiple units are only going to add a small amount of extra capacity, and it's not guaranteed that ROG (a spot-hire company similar to CFCLA here) have a customer to run them yet.

I would guess that the most likely market where these might work is daily runs on the London-Bristol-Plymouth-Penzance and London-Newcastle-Edinburgh-Aberdeen routes where there are enough cities to justify extra logistics capacity plus the need to replace the current carrying of freshly refrigerated fish as the InterCity 125 fleet is phased out.

Coincidentally, the Class 325 mail/parcels EMU was based on the design of the Class 319 passenger EMU, the same EMUs which Porterbrook are converting into the Class 769 'Flex' bi-mode multiple unit for use on partially electrified routes.

This order takes the number of Flex orders up to 39, split between:
Transport for Wales (passenger version): 9
Northern (passenger): 8
GWR (passenger): 19
ROG (logistics version): 2
Porterbrook (hydrogen fuel cell demonstrator): 1
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
At what speeds do these units usual travel between cities?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Sadly there's lots of bad memories of post getting stolen and reliability problems when Australia Post used rail. I doubt it'll happen again here.
Carnot
Theft, delays and damage was a key driver for many shippers leaving rail in the govt hey day. Put it on your own truck or at least a contractors truck and the number of people who can interfere with your goods is greatly reduced and delays mostly eliminated.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
At what speeds do these units usual travel between cities?
bevans

Class 325 'postal' electrics in the UK can operate at up to 160km/h which is at the lower end of the max permissible speed permitted on the routes over which they operate.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Sadly there's lots of bad memories of post getting stolen and reliability problems when Australia Post used rail. I doubt it'll happen again here.
Theft, delays and damage was a key driver for many shippers leaving rail in the govt hey day. Put it on your own truck or at least a contractors truck and the number of people who can interfere with your goods is greatly reduced and delays mostly eliminated.
RTT_Rules

I think you and Carnot must be mistaken. I read continually on Railpage that things were so, so much better on the railways in the old days Razz

(Although I must admit I've never heard the 'theft' angle very much, and I bet neither of you can produce proof that it was rampant - just regurgitating old urban myths methinks.)
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

At what speeds do these units usual travel between cities?
bevans
Both the Class 319 and Class 325 have maximum speeds of 100mph.

It remains to be seen what the Flex rebuild can do when running on diesel though.

Sadly there's lots of bad memories of post getting stolen and reliability problems when Australia Post used rail. I doubt it'll happen again here.
Theft, delays and damage was a key driver for many shippers leaving rail in the govt hey day. Put it on your own truck or at least a contractors truck and the number of people who can interfere with your goods is greatly reduced and delays mostly eliminated.
RTT_Rules
The biggest problem for rail when it comes to winning business from the logistics sector is that stuff spends way too much time sitting around not going anywhere.

Having a 15 km/h higher top speed than a truck has is not enough to account for the fact a truck can be in the next state before a load on a train even pulls out onto the mainline.

Trucking bosses will be rolling around in laughter at the thought of 3600m long intermodal trains on Inland Rail.

Were delays to be dealt with, logistics and shipping companies might return to rail. It's a lot harder to break into a container which is on the move.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville


Were delays to be dealt with, logistics and shipping companies might return to rail. It's a lot harder to break into a container which is on the move.
justapassenger

Yet they are happy to use foreign crewed ships to move plenty of domestic stuff around our coastline. I think most trains can easily beat those transit times, delays or no delays.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Sadly there's lots of bad memories of post getting stolen and reliability problems when Australia Post used rail. I doubt it'll happen again here.
Theft, delays and damage was a key driver for many shippers leaving rail in the govt hey day. Put it on your own truck or at least a contractors truck and the number of people who can interfere with your goods is greatly reduced and delays mostly eliminated.

I think you and Carnot must be mistaken. I read continually on Railpage that things were so, so much better on the railways in the old days Razz

(Although I must admit I've never heard the 'theft' angle very much, and I bet neither of you can produce proof that it was rampant - just regurgitating old urban myths methinks.)
bingley hall
Of course no one has evidence from what happened 20-40 years ago, I can quote a few examples of what drivers in both Tas and Qld told me over the years as well as those in the logistics chain, but no point as no more proof. However to say there was no theft is also incorrect considering the outcome to a number of internal inquiries over the years. The SRA in the mid 80's copped a scathing report at one stage of theft of its own equipment.

I suppose the real evidence if any is the significant loss from rail at the first opportunity by many customers in the 70's and 80's to road. Clearly dissatisfaction on a large scale for a number of reasons, but then again I keep reading here how in the "Good 'ol days" the railway used to serve the people but clearly the people were not happy.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE


Were delays to be dealt with, logistics and shipping companies might return to rail. It's a lot harder to break into a container which is on the move.
Yet they are happy to use foreign crewed ships to move plenty of domestic stuff around our coastline. I think most trains can easily beat those transit times, delays or no delays.
bingley hall
How much coastal shipping trade still remains in Australia?

http://www.portsaustralia.com.au/aus-ports-industry/trade-statistics/?id=104&period=15

The attached is for the whole domestic shipping tonnages by port, why don't you go through and remove the tonnages that are not suitable for rail, no rail option or not in competition with rail, ie across Bass Strait, Weipa bauxite to Gladstone and others and then see whats left, answer almost SFA!

For some logistics options, such as Roseberry Mine Zinc concentrate to Hobart via rail rather than rail to Burnie then ship to Hobart, but once you understand how the whole logistics works you will see its not cost effective due to the way they move acid, lead and zinc concentrates around between their various sites.  ie the ship would be still running, but half loaded.

What saved the interstate rail corridors was rail taking over the coastal shipping logistics in the 90's and 2000's with the end of ANL and others. Remember there was a study or report done by NSW to considering closing the interstate to Qld prior to the coastal modal shift to rail.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
At what speeds do these units usual travel between cities?
Both the Class 319 and Class 325 have maximum speeds of 100mph.

It remains to be seen what the Flex rebuild can do when running on diesel though.

Sadly there's lots of bad memories of post getting stolen and reliability problems when Australia Post used rail. I doubt it'll happen again here.
Theft, delays and damage was a key driver for many shippers leaving rail in the govt hey day. Put it on your own truck or at least a contractors truck and the number of people who can interfere with your goods is greatly reduced and delays mostly eliminated.
The biggest problem for rail when it comes to winning business from the logistics sector is that stuff spends way too much time sitting around not going anywhere.

Having a 15 km/h higher top speed than a truck has is not enough to account for the fact a truck can be in the next state before a load on a train even pulls out onto the mainline.

Trucking bosses will be rolling around in laughter at the thought of 3600m long intermodal trains on Inland Rail.

Were delays to be dealt with, logistics and shipping companies might return to rail. It's a lot harder to break into a container which is on the move.
justapassenger
Probably explains why some container trains are mostly empty boxes being returned after delivery by truck.

But yes agree, however the rail industry itself walked away from short trains, typically common size found in the EU and moved to longer is better, so there must be a buck in it?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

If anyone was wondering on my source - it's from an acquaintance (now retired) senior manager with Australia Post.

I think post could travel by rail again for the inter-capital trunk routes if there's decent electronic tracking and efficient transfer from mail centre to train to mail centre.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If anyone was wondering on my source - it's from an acquaintance (now retired) senior manager with Australia Post.

I think post could travel by rail again for the inter-capital trunk routes if there's decent electronic tracking and efficient transfer from mail centre to train to mail centre.
Carnot

I believe this too.  I think this could easily be achieved and managed as an express goods between the capitals.  Australia post if they are serious about the environment and they are making those types of noises then we could see this.  Further to the concept is Australia Post are really under expense pressure and trucking is not cheap with those volumes and trucks running Up and down the highways.  Not good for the environment either.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville


Were delays to be dealt with, logistics and shipping companies might return to rail. It's a lot harder to break into a container which is on the move.
Yet they are happy to use foreign crewed ships to move plenty of domestic stuff around our coastline. I think most trains can easily beat those transit times, delays or no delays.How much coastal shipping trade still remains in Australia?

http://www.portsaustralia.com.au/aus-ports-industry/trade-statistics/?id=104&period=15

The attached is for the whole domestic shipping tonnages by port, why don't you go through and remove the tonnages that are not suitable for rail, no rail option or not in competition with rail, ie across Bass Strait, Weipa bauxite to Gladstone and others and then see whats left, answer almost SFA!

For some logistics options, such as Roseberry Mine Zinc concentrate to Hobart via rail rather than rail to Burnie then ship to Hobart, but once you understand how the whole logistics works you will see its not cost effective due to the way they move acid, lead and zinc concentrates around between their various sites.  ie the ship would be still running, but half loaded.

What saved the interstate rail corridors was rail taking over the coastal shipping logistics in the 90's and 2000's with the end of ANL and others. Remember there was a study or report done by NSW to considering closing the interstate to Qld prior to the coastal modal shift to rail.
RTT_Rules

So when SCT complain about the impact of single and continuous voyage permit foreign shipping impacting upon their business, they are either lying or don't have a clue what they are talking about Razz

"On the east-west corridor between the eastern states and Perth, rail’s market share is estimated at around 70%. Unlike the east coast network, rail’s major competitor here is sea where domestic freight travels on foreign ships using a permit system for coastal freight.

Smith argues that this type of open-access is not consistent with other western nations such as the United States.
“It is difficult, if not impossible in some circumstances, for any landside operator governed by the laws, taxes and wage structures of that jurisdiction, to compete against international ships with foreign crews and marginally-costed vessels using our waterways free of charge,” Smith says. “The federal government’s future policies in this area will have a profound influence for rail on this corridor.”

Geoff Smith, MD, SCT Logistics - IRJ January 2017

https://www.railjournal.com/in_depth/sct-logistics-hopes-to-capture-freight-from-road-with-new-east-coast-service

I'm guessing that chart is either Australian flagged coastal shipping or doesn't include intermodal tonnages
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
If anyone was wondering on my source - it's from an acquaintance (now retired) senior manager with Australia Post.

I think post could travel by rail again for the inter-capital trunk routes if there's decent electronic tracking and efficient transfer from mail centre to train to mail centre.
Carnot

Australia Post had a major contract with Linfox a decade ago to carry mail by rail from Parkes to Perth. Not sure if it's still a happening thing, but ParkesHub might know?
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Australia Post use rail extensively... in inner Melbourne at least!

Through the middle of the day it’s a common sight to see postal workers with mail carts travelling between inner-city stations. Makes a lot of sense given how congested those roads are all day.
potatoinmymouth
There was a major main line derailment adjacent to the Olympic Way level crossing at Bethungra about 1970. It was one of TNT's hotshot overnighters and vans and containers had spilt their contents across a wide area. Lots of people came to have look and many helped themselves to 'stuff', (I remember picking up a few bags of lollies). A container spilled its load of domestic airmail. This was back in the days when you could pay extra for supposedly faster delivery via airmail. Anyway, the PMG got caught sending airmail by train, but I don't remember any fuss about it.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE

So when SCT complain about the impact of single and continuous voyage permit foreign shipping impacting upon their business, they are either lying or don't have a clue what they are talking about Razz

"On the east-west corridor between the eastern states and Perth, rail’s market share is estimated at around 70%. Unlike the east coast network, rail’s major competitor here is sea where domestic freight travels on foreign ships using a permit system for coastal freight.

Smith argues that this type of open-access is not consistent with other western nations such as the United States.
“It is difficult, if not impossible in some circumstances, for any landside operator governed by the laws, taxes and wage structures of that jurisdiction, to compete against international ships with foreign crews and marginally-costed vessels using our waterways free of charge,” Smith says. “The federal government’s future policies in this area will have a profound influence for rail on this corridor.”

Geoff Smith, MD, SCT Logistics - IRJ January 2017

https://www.railjournal.com/in_depth/sct-logistics-hopes-to-capture-freight-from-road-with-new-east-coast-service

I'm guessing that chart is either Australian flagged coastal shipping or doesn't include intermodal tonnages
bingley hall
No, they are not lying and neither am I, read what I posted, not twist it.

I said go through the domestic coastal freight volumes, subtract the haulage tasks that is not competing with rail and what do you have left?

Look at this link for further break down, pages 4 and 6 https://bitre.gov.au/publications/2009/files/is_034.pdf

Outside East Coast Perth for non-bulk freight, sea freight is almost non-existent. Every sector between 1972 and 2005 has declined, including East Coast to Perth and many disappeared outright.

East Coast to Perth for
rail is around 75%
Trucking around 15-18%
Coastal Shipping the rest or less than 15%.

Shipping time from East coast to Perth is quoted at a week. Road 2 days (with two drivers surely), rail 3-4 days. I cannot see shipping being a major player for all the reasons that should be obvious. Very long transit times, port charges etc.

What shipping is doing is filling empty slots at low cost that are replaced in Perth/Freo with longer distance freight, called back charging. Rail does it too. Yes the ships are internationally owned, but feel free to buy one and have a go. Personally I don't have an issue with it and nor do I have the are using the seas for "Free". Do we complain about the international planes carrying freight to Perth or even people claiming the using the skis for "free"?

As for labour costs, there are less than a dozen guys on that ship. Compare that with the leasing costs, fuel, insurance, maintenance port charges etc.

No, I very much doubt there are any domestic on sea container services anymore.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Sea freight would be cheaper then road or rail. Anything on the water is more economical than any other mode, except maybe a zeplin. So if that extra time isn’t an issue.

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