PACIFIC NATIONAL IN RAIL FREIGHT DEATHBED CALL

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 29 Jul 2019 16:15
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
According to Pacific National Containerised and Palletised freight between Melbourne and Sydney is down to 1% but who do you blame?

PACNAT have dumped LCL traffic and do not engage directly with container freight companies if you read here.

The idea of b-double traffic being highest is true when you look at the number of trucks on the roads.  

Where is the investment in yards and LCL loading for operators other than SCT?

PACIFIC NATIONAL IN RAIL FREIGHT DEATHBED CALL

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  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Not a lot of helpful suggestions in the article, considering he is carping about taxes and red tape.

The only suggestion is free track access charges (unless I missed something).

Not a great fan of the ALL CAPS headline either. IMO, if you have to shout, chances are the content isn’t particularly interesting.
  allan Chief Commissioner

It's all part of an ongoing trend - road transport continues to be more efficient over time, at a rate that exceeds the increase in efficiency of the railways. That road transport uses infrastructure that is shared with private motorists is one issue. Another is that rail picks up and delivers to the railway's yard, meaning that both the first and last parts of the trip are by road transport anyway, but with dual trans shipment to add to the costs and the trip time.

A hundred years ago, coastal shipping was the cheapest transport for long distance, particularly given that Australia's population and industry was (and largely, still is) located close to the coast. Since then, the railways have, generally, replaced coastal shipping, while road transport has inherited the role previously played by the railways. While there is next to no coastal shipping left to replace, road transport continues to eat into the business of the railways. The next challenge will be driverless trucks.
  DounutCereal Chief Train Controller

Location: Who knows.
I can't help but feel some irony about this situation, PN arcing up about the rail situation being anticompetative against them is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black unless they look at some of their own monopoly and asset stripping practices they've done in Victoria and NSW with regards to equipment and losing contracts.

I have no sympathy for PN here especially when SCT can grow a new service in the same traffic lane in the same rail conditions while PN flounders and wants the game to change to their wants. They can get with the program or get left behind, they have many times the resources than nearly all other operators and seem to be fat dumb and happy on the monopoly top and are expecting traffic to land in their lap instead of chasing it like everyone else as had to.

Just my two cents
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
It's Just PN complaining about the situation that they have created with the freight drifting to road and not having an exclusive freight rail monopoly. If PN gave a toss about Getting more freight on rail they'd let other operators buy their excess hoardings rather than scrapping em and would actively pursue more than being a 'hook and pull' operator and getting into shoreline operations.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It's Just PN complaining about the situation that they have created with the freight drifting to road and not having an exclusive freight rail monopoly. If PN gave a toss about Getting more freight on rail they'd let other operators buy their excess hoardings rather than scrapping em and would actively pursue more than being a 'hook and pull' operator and getting into shoreline operations.
Dangersdan707

There is certainly some truth to this.  By abandoning intermodal, LCL and non coal loading they have backed themselves into a corner. There will come a time when coal drops off where Pn will find themselves in a pickle revenue wise.

What I have never ever seen from PN is innovation in developing markets like petroleum and aggregates and LCL.  Massive building boom in Victoria and NSW what role is PN playing in this?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
I have no sympathy for PN here especially when SCT can grow a new service in the same traffic lane in the same rail conditions while PN flounders and wants the game to change to their wants. They can get with the program or get left behind, they have many times the resources than nearly all other operators and seem to be fat dumb and happy on the monopoly top and are expecting traffic to land in their lap instead of chasing it like everyone else as had to.
DounutCereal
SCT doesn't run any freight from Melbourne to Sydney by rail, they truck it. The Melbourne-Brisbane service goes straight from Laverton North VIC to Bromelton QLD with a loading stop at Barnawartha - no stops any where Sydney.

PacNat is rightly complaining about the state of Melbourne-Sydney intermodal rail freight. Their only competitor on this run is technically QUBE with the Minto-Melbourne cement export train, but that's a dedicated terminal-to-port service. PacNat's concerns about rail freight on this corridor are very real. High Productivity Freight Vehicles like A-Doubles are already running on Melbourne's suburban freeway network and thanks to the roads lobby they will soon be using the Hume Freeway for Melbourne-Sydney runs. Infrastructure improvements on this corridor would offer marginal improvements but really what needs to happen is that trucking needs to be made more expensive on this corridor to make it pay its way for the road damage and trauma that it inflicts.

For a simple solution: the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator should stop issuing permits for A-Doubles on these sorts of corridors. They aren't called 'pocket road trains' for nothing and there is no need to use them where there is a perfectly usable rail corridor.

For a more thorough solution: toll trucks on the Hume. You would not need many gates (as the system would capture Melbourne-Sydney traffic only) and there's already Point-to-Point speed camera infrastructure on some parts of it already that can be co-opted for this purpose. Virtually every truck doing interstate runs already has an E-Tag or equivalent. The trucking lobby must be stared down.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Why doesn't SCT work into and out of Sydney as a terminal?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Why doesn't SCT work into and out of Sydney as a terminal?
bevans
Because they are not a train company.

They are a transport company which uses the best method available in the context.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
And we continue to ignore climate change in the process

  dm211060 Beginner

And we continue to ignore climate change in the process

bevans
True. But sadly there seem to me to be better prospects in the short term of long haul trucking in Aust getting close to zero emissions than long haul rail - with Tesla and several others looking close to having suitable semis on offer - whereas for rail, climate think tanks like Beyond Zero Emissions are only talking in terms of overhead electrification which I really cant see happening for Syd-Mel let alone over to Perth.

More hopefully, did anyone else see stuff from Tesla about their forthcoming container sized 3 megawatt hour battery pack? One of those on a wagon and you have full power for an NR for an hour, two for two hours etc. Maybe not far from a solution at least on Syd-Mel  and Syd - Bris given it could be set up to recharge on descents from dynamic braking instead of throwing the energy away as heat?
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
We seem to be missing the fact that heavy haul battery electric locomotives are already a thing:

https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/bnsf-and-ge-to-test-battery-freight-loco.html

Trucking would still need to overcome the rolling resistance disadvantage of rubber tyres vs rail to out compete rail on energy consumption. It’s a basic physics barrier.

Cheers
  dm211060 Beginner

We seem to be missing the fact that heavy haul battery electric locomotives are already a thing:

https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/bnsf-and-ge-to-test-battery-freight-loco.html

Trucking would still need to overcome the rolling resistance disadvantage of rubber tyres vs rail to out compete rail on energy consumption. It’s a basic physics barrier.

Cheers
arctic
Thanks , knew about that one, note its only 2400kW hours of power though.
Something like that would be useful addition to a train with say a couple of NRs especially  if it can share power with the other locos traction motors in settings where noise or fumes are critical (a solution for the long tunnel on the Dombarton to Maldon line if opened?) and if it can recharge from the other locos dynamic braking as well as its own? But doesnt seem to be a solution for long haul freight by itself yet.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

We seem to be missing the fact that heavy haul battery electric locomotives are already a thing:

https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/bnsf-and-ge-to-test-battery-freight-loco.html

Trucking would still need to overcome the rolling resistance disadvantage of rubber tyres vs rail to out compete rail on energy consumption. It’s a basic physics barrier.

Cheers
arctic
And with the increasing contribution that road tires make to micro-plastic pollution, there will hopefully be more pressure on Governments to shift freight off roads and to rail.
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

Pacific National have continued to reduce their non mining rail business and now complain about what exactly?

Will inland rail assist operators between melbourne and Sydney ?
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
“Will inland rail assist operators between melbourne and Sydney ?“
No. Inland rail bypasses Sydney, which is the source of congestion.
  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Pacific National have continued to reduce their non mining rail business and now complain about what exactly?

Will inland rail assist operators between melbourne and Sydney ?
MetroFemme
Aurizon will be in the same place. Short term gain over long term strategy.

I guess they can bank to rapidly redeploy back to the intermodal markets whenever they choose.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
We seem to be missing the fact that heavy haul battery electric locomotives are already a thing:

https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/bnsf-and-ge-to-test-battery-freight-loco.html

Trucking would still need to overcome the rolling resistance disadvantage of rubber tyres vs rail to out compete rail on energy consumption. It’s a basic physics barrier.

Cheers
Thanks , knew about that one, note its only 2400kW hours of power though.
Something like that would be useful addition to a train with say a couple of NRs especially  if it can share power with the other locos traction motors in settings where noise or fumes are critical (a solution for the long tunnel on the Dombarton to Maldon line if opened?) and if it can recharge from the other locos dynamic braking as well as its own? But doesnt seem to be a solution for long haul freight by itself yet.
dm211060
Well it is a prototype, I would expect production models if they come would have improved performance both in power and flexibility.
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
Why doesn't SCT work into and out of Sydney as a terminal?
Because they are not a train company.

They are a transport company which uses the best method available in the context.
justapassenger
And they are making a business decision. But what makes trucking better  between Melbourne and Sydney while there has been extensive investment in rail between Sydney and Brisbane.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
And with the increasing contribution that road tires make to micro-plastic pollution, there will hopefully be more pressure on Governments to shift freight off roads and to rail.
Carnot
Umpteen reports to government have not changed the funding model. Heavy Vehicle road transport is cross subsidized by other road users. Rail operators cover the lot, plus the ARTC dividend which goes back to the government. It's not a level playing field.

Billions were spent duplicating the Hume. Some sections built 20 years ago are cracking up under the load.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

An interesting report by 9 News Melbourne.  SCT are also interviewed in this.  Clearly we are at a critical juncture in saving the rail freight industry:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1604532343015887
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
And with the increasing contribution that road tires make to micro-plastic pollution, there will hopefully be more pressure on Governments to shift freight off roads and to rail.
Umpteen reports to government have not changed the funding model. Heavy Vehicle road transport is cross subsidized by other road users. Rail operators cover the lot, plus the ARTC dividend which goes back to the government. It's not a level playing field.

Billions were spent duplicating the Hume. Some sections built 20 years ago are cracking up under the load.
cootanee
a couple of holes in your arguments.  changes to registration practises and more road-friendly suspensions on trucks have actually reduced the impact.  By the time you add in the road-tax component of diesel fuel (which rail doesn't pay by the way) only trucks under 5.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (so about a 3 tonne payload) don't contribute more than they cost.  these are 2017 figures but road has been paying it's way since the late 1990's by the time you take registration and road taxes on fuel into account.

Rail pays about 60 cents a litre for diesel - trucks around $1:30 per litre on the east coast due to the taxes (of course the rest of us pay around $1.40 as we don't get bulk discounts from fuel companies as we are not buying 400-1000 litres a time)

Roads, like rail needs maintenance. The hume was duplicated in Victoria long before the standard gauge line was and has had nowhere near as much maintenance.  Pot holes are caused by cracks in the bitumen allowing water to flow into the foundations.  It can also be caused by bad drainage and floods (the latter 2 apply to rail as well). We know an unmaintained railway line or building soon degenerates into a mess why do we expect the roads to be any different)


Even from a technology perspective trucks have moved on while a lot of the rail hasn't.  Trucks the age of the B and S class diesels weigh in around 23 gross tonne while carry an 15 tonne payload at about 2km/litre of fuel (so about 8 tonnes of tare weight in truck and trailer). Modern b-doubles weigh in at around 62 tonne for a 43 tonne payload using fuel at around 2.1 to 2.4 km/litre. Some of setups under the PBS rules can carry a couple of tonne more and obtain 3km/litre.  Nobody tries to make money with trucks as old as the C-class locomotives or older yet these are common on our freight trains. These still using fuel at 1950's to 1970's consumption levels.  You also have 100 tonne or more of 'dead weight' (being the locos) that need to move before you have any payload.  A prime mover still tares around 5 to 7 tonne as modern materials have lightened the truck while equipment levels have increased (air-conditioning, heating, bunks etc).

Rail does pay access charges but they don't pay registration or road taxes on their fuel.  The statement by PN is purely aimed to get the most political mileage to blame others for their poor business decisions
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
And the larger and larger trucks creating more and more damage to our roads.  This in Port Melbourne

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