How complicated is changing gauge in Queensland and Western Australia?

 
  djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

Noting the comments on the WA sections above, the reestablishing of the Eneabba trains for Illuka were also compromised because Aurizon had cut up all the so called “surplus” wagons in the intervening period so new rolling stock would have been needed as well. The Tilley Junction to Karara Railway was actually built as standard gauge and during construction Greentrains K classes were used with NSW Railcorp ballast wagons. On completion it was converted back to narrow gauge.

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  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Noting the comments on the WA sections above, the reestablishing of the Eneabba trains for Illuka were also compromised because Aurizon had cut up all the so called “surplus” wagons in the intervening period so new rolling stock would have been needed as well. T
djukinX1016
Once again Aurizon driven by the current FY P&L.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
...it is starting to seem that you have this fixation / obsession that standard gauge is the only rail gauge worthy of usage and don't seem to understand that QLD quite successfully hauls huge tonnages, including coal traffic, over 1067mm gauge tracks. I know down in Victoria it was worth converting the Albury line to standard gauge in the early 1960s and the line to Adelaide in the 1990s, but that was to allow through traffic. On the other hand, the same notion of through interstate traffic is not needed here in QLD, as through traffic generally travels via containers which are relatively cheaply swapped between rail gauges as needed. Time to move on and understand real world economic and engineering factors.
petan
Okay, if building a new system or line that doesn't need to be interoperable with these existing lines, the chances are that standard gauge would be used, even though Queensland and Western Australia have quite successfully hauled a lot on a narrower gauge.
Where else is any narrower gauge worthy of usage but on existing narrow-gauge networks?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I'm not really sure what you're asking with where else for narrow and narrower gauge usage?

The biggest tonnage narrow gauge mainlines in Queensland are -

Goonyella (Aurizon) 119.09-million tonnes/annum

Blackwater (Aurizon) 65-million tonnes/annum

Newlands (Aurizon) 29.50-million tonnes/annum

Moura (Aurizon) 11.95-million tonnes/annum

West Moreton (QR) 7.5-million tonnes/annum

Mt Isa (QR) 6.5-million tonnes/ annum

North Coast (QR) 3-million tonnes/annum

There's also the 4,000km of 2ft gauge cane networks that carry 35-million tonnes of cane/annum. Several individual mainlines in these networks carry between 1.5-million and 3-million tonnes in five months, some using multiple locomotives in distributed power.

Internationally the commodity driven 3ft6 gauge South African Transnet system, and Brazil's 20,000km of metre gauge both haul tonnages measured in the hundreds of millions.

Brazilian narrow gauge networks now use imported North American locomotives (new and secondhand) modified for narrow gauge, and similar locally built models with horsepowers up to 4,600hp. Brazil also has much smaller standard gauge and broad gauge networks.

South Africa's Transnet has 1,000 new narrow gauge locomotives on order, most in the 4,000hp range. It hauled 226-million tonnes in 2018, all on 3ft6, and almost the same tonnages moved on the narrow gauge Aurizon and QR networks in Queensland.

Narrow gauge is alive in well, and hauling a fair share of the world's exported commodities.


Metre gauge in Brazil, including ex-Southern Pacific SD40-2 and Tunnel Motors converted to narrow gauge...


https://youtu.be/Ymvu23ERR3U
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
...it is starting to seem that you have this fixation / obsession that standard gauge is the only rail gauge worthy of usage and don't seem to understand that QLD quite successfully hauls huge tonnages, including coal traffic, over 1067mm gauge tracks. I know down in Victoria it was worth converting the Albury line to standard gauge in the early 1960s and the line to Adelaide in the 1990s, but that was to allow through traffic. On the other hand, the same notion of through interstate traffic is not needed here in QLD, as through traffic generally travels via containers which are relatively cheaply swapped between rail gauges as needed. Time to move on and understand real world economic and engineering factors.
Okay, if building a new system or line that doesn't need to be interoperable with these existing lines, the chances are that standard gauge would be used
Myrtone
Myrtone, Your statement as I quoted is suggesting you either did not read or comprehend BigJ's remark that even the Adani (yes the toxic topic for southerners) dropped standard gauge idea. Adani originally had planned a 1435mm gauge from mine to port separate from 1067mm lines, yet they dropped that.
  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
...it is starting to seem that you have this fixation / obsession that standard gauge is the only rail gauge worthy of usage and don't seem to understand that QLD quite successfully hauls huge tonnages, including coal traffic, over 1067mm gauge tracks. I know down in Victoria it was worth converting the Albury line to standard gauge in the early 1960s and the line to Adelaide in the 1990s, but that was to allow through traffic. On the other hand, the same notion of through interstate traffic is not needed here in QLD, as through traffic generally travels via containers which are relatively cheaply swapped between rail gauges as needed. Time to move on and understand real world economic and engineering factors.
Okay, if building a new system or line that doesn't need to be interoperable with these existing lines, the chances are that standard gauge would be used, even though Queensland and Western Australia have quite successfully hauled a lot on a narrower gauge.
Where else is any narrower gauge worthy of usage but on existing narrow-gauge networks?
Myrtone
See above.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I'm not really sure what you're asking with where else for narrow and narrower gauge usage?

The biggest tonnage narrow gauge mainlines in Queensland are -

.....
Sulla1

Its also worth noting that the axle loads (TAL) for these lines are pretty impressive too - a look a the Goonyella standards book online shows a 26.5TAL limit.  I suspect similar at most of the others.

https://www.aurizon.com.au/-/media/project/aurizon/files/what-we-do/network/network-downloads/cqcn-info-packs/auz014_infopack_goonyella_ia_r1.pdf
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm not really sure what you're asking with where else for narrow and narrower gauge usage?

The biggest tonnage narrow gauge mainlines in Queensland are -

.....

Its also worth noting that the axle loads (TAL) for these lines are pretty impressive too - a look a the Goonyella standards book online shows a 26.5TAL limit.  I suspect similar at most of the others.

https://www.aurizon.com.au/-/media/project/aurizon/files/what-we-do/network/network-downloads/cqcn-info-packs/auz014_infopack_goonyella_ia_r1.pdf
james.au
I believe you will find that the bulk of the CQ coal lines are 26t. Moura was upgraded in the mid 2000's.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I'm not really sure what you're asking with where else for narrow and narrower gauge usage?

The biggest tonnage narrow gauge mainlines in Queensland are -

.....

Its also worth noting that the axle loads (TAL) for these lines are pretty impressive too - a look a the Goonyella standards book online shows a 26.5TAL limit.  I suspect similar at most of the others.

https://www.aurizon.com.au/-/media/project/aurizon/files/what-we-do/network/network-downloads/cqcn-info-packs/auz014_infopack_goonyella_ia_r1.pdf
I believe you will find that the bulk of the CQ coal lines are 26t. Moura was upgraded in the mid 2000's.
RTT_Rules

Aurizon's 2,670km coal network is pretty much all 26.5-tonne axle load. The 9.3km section of the North Coast Line from Parana via Gladstone station to Callemondah, the 60.8kms of the Central Line from Burngrove to Nogoa and 46.4kms of the Minerva Branch south of Nogoa are the only signficant exceptions remaining at 20 tonne axle loads.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Okay, if building a new system or line that doesn't need to be interoperable with these existing lines, the chances are that standard gauge would be used
Myrtone, Your statement as I quoted is suggesting you either did not read or comprehend BigJ's remark that even the Adani  dropped standard gauge idea. Adani originally had planned a 1435mm gauge from mine to port separate from 1067mm lines, yet they dropped that.
petan
Myrtone, just in case you missed it, the date Adani dropped the standard gauge line idea and changed to 1067mm gauge line, was September 2018, 12 months ago.

Sulla started a thread at that time called Adani Changes to Narrow Gauge, with a first post date of September 2018, 12 months ago. His post mentions Adani has announced today (Sept 2018) it will no longer build a new 388km standard gauge route to the Carmichael Mine, instead, it will use a narrow 1067mm gauge line.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11398398-0-asc-s0.htm
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I didn't see that thread before, however, it seems that they changed to narrow gauge to run on existing narrow-gauge track. The original proposal was for the line to be physically separate, in which case standard gauge would surely have made sense.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I didn't see that thread before, however, it seems that they changed to narrow gauge to run on existing narrow-gauge track. The original proposal was for the line to be physically separate, in which case standard gauge would surely have made sense.
Myrtone

It did make sense to use standard gauge, but Adani couldn't afford to build it. Their new narrow gauge line will be nearly 200km shorter than the planned standard gauge route and it is being built to the same 40-million tonnes/annum planned capacity of the standard gauge line. So for nearly half the price of a 388km long standard gauge railway, Adani still gets to move the same amount of coal.

Added to this, Queensland's Department of State Development has restricted the number of rail corridors into the Galilee Basin to two routes - one to the northern end of the basin (including Adani) and one to the southern end of the basin. So the northern end is now more or less locked into Adani's Open Access narrow gauge line. The southern corridor may end up as standard gauge if it's ever built, but it may face the same cost pressures Adani succumbed to when it decided to integrate with Aurizon's existing heavy haul network.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
And even if sharing tracks with existing narrow gauge rolling stock, standard gauge may make sense if dual-gauge is possible wherever the tracks are shared.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

And even if sharing tracks with existing narrow gauge rolling stock, standard gauge may make sense if dual-gauge is possible wherever the tracks are shared.
Myrtone

That really depends on what each gauge is there to do.

With the possible exception of double stacking, there's nothing being done on standard gauge that isn't already done on narrow gauge. East Coast axle loads and train tonnages are comparable on both gauges, the Australian rail speed record is currently held by Queensland narrow gauge and what constitutes "standard gauge" in Australia is more a quirk of political history rather than the efforts of good science and economic relevance. If the Trans Australian Railway had been built to 3ft6 or 5ft3 gauges, Australian standard gauge could well be something completely different to what it is now, and we'd be talking about converting an island of 4ft8.5 in NSW to something other.

As a unifying rail medium, standard gauge has won its merits over everything else in Australia, but don't mistake the luck of this choice with something magical or fantastical, it is accidental and nothing more. Outside of Australia's contiguous national standard gauge network, the choice of gauge remains economic and geographic.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
And even if sharing tracks with existing narrow gauge rolling stock, standard gauge may make sense if dual-gauge is possible wherever the tracks are shared.
Myrtone
Your above statement is pretty similar to your previous posts in this thread, yet many knowledgeable posters have repeatedly pointed out the problems with your earlier similar statements for quite a while. I wonder if you have understood any of the very informed posts from my learned co-posters???
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Ah well , Adani obviously doesn't see the valve in running 40/42 tonne axle loads like serious operators do in WA .
Makes 26 look very ordinary .
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Ah well , Adani obviously doesn't see the valve in running 40/42 tonne axle loads like serious operators do in WA .
Makes 26 look very ordinary .
BDA
SG or not your over looking one very minor detail. Adani is mining coal, not iron ore, density is the key. NSW is running 30t/axle for its Hunter coal fleet. How much bigger can you practically make them?

So assuming same train length, a 100 wagon Qld NG coal train (~8800t) would hold ~1500t/train less than a 100 wagon NSW SG coal train.  The SG would be 17% more productive per train movement, but is the extra capital in track work the savings?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

By comparison to the Pilbara's rather unique "super" axle loads, the two North American mandated axle loads are now set at 32.5-tonnes and 35.5-tonnes.

Standard train consists on Aurizon's Goonyella network are now 126-wagons grossing 13,356-tonnes and hauling 10,150-tonnes of coal. These are the consists currently planned for the Adani line.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
By comparison to the Pilbara's rather unique "super" axle loads, the two North American mandated axle loads are now set at 32.5-tonnes and 35.5-tonnes.

Standard train consists on Aurizon's Goonyella network are now 126-wagons grossing 13,356-tonnes and hauling 10,150-tonnes of coal. These are the consists currently planned for the Adani line.
Sulla1
Density of coal, around 0.83t/m3

Density of iron ore, around 2.5t/m3

So, if I assume a 40t/axle in the NW, thats 160tper wagon, assume 25t for wagon, thats 135t of iron ore = 54m3 of volume.

The current 106t coal hoppers have 127m3 of volume.

For coal to use a 40t/axle load with a 25t wagon = 162m3 of volume.

Assume wagon width of 2.5m and 3m high = 21.6m long which assumes a box, which coal with bottom dump cannot be, so now around 25m long or around the length of the V-set/QR Spark pax cars.

Now we know why Adani didn't bother with the SUPER axle loads of NW and basically the coal hoppers are unlikely to exceed much more that used in NSW at around 30t/axle which meant a much higher upfront cost infrastructure project with all the extra risks compared to a much lower upfront capital cost of simply tapping into the existing Aurizon QR network and potentially incurring a small extra operational cost over the life of the mine.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
That really depends on what each gauge is there to do.

With the possible exception of double stacking, there's nothing being done on standard gauge that isn't already done on narrow gauge. East Coast axle loads and train tonnages are comparable on both gauges, the Australian rail speed record is currently held by Queensland narrow gauge and what constitutes "standard gauge" in Australia is more a quirk of political history rather than the efforts of good science and economic relevance. If the Trans Australian Railway had been built to 3ft6 or 5ft3 gauges, Australian standard gauge could well be something completely different to what it is now, and we'd be talking about converting an island of 4ft8.5 in NSW to something other.
Sulla1
This doesn't stop standard gauge from making sense for completely new rolling stock on completely new track, so why should it stop standard gauge from making sense if dual gauge track is possible wherever new standard gauge rolling stock shares tracks with existing cape gauge rolling stock?

As a unifying rail medium, standard gauge has won its merits over everything else in Australia, but don't mistake the luck of this choice with something magical or fantastical, it is accidental and nothing more. Outside of Australia's contiguous national standard gauge network, the choice of gauge remains economic and geographic.
Sulla1
Not just here, but in Western Europe and North America too! Over there this gauge has also won its merits to a greater extent than in this country.

The only reason that any gauge narrower than standard even makes sense is because of large and complex networks of narrow gauge tracks in use.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

That really depends on what each gauge is there to do.

With the possible exception of double stacking, there's nothing being done on standard gauge that isn't already done on narrow gauge. East Coast axle loads and train tonnages are comparable on both gauges, the Australian rail speed record is currently held by Queensland narrow gauge and what constitutes "standard gauge" in Australia is more a quirk of political history rather than the efforts of good science and economic relevance. If the Trans Australian Railway had been built to 3ft6 or 5ft3 gauges, Australian standard gauge could well be something completely different to what it is now, and we'd be talking about converting an island of 4ft8.5 in NSW to something other.
This doesn't stop standard gauge from making sense for completely new rolling stock on completely new track, so why should it stop standard gauge from making sense if dual gauge track is possible wherever new standard gauge rolling stock shares tracks with existing cape gauge rolling stock?

As a unifying rail medium, standard gauge has won its merits over everything else in Australia, but don't mistake the luck of this choice with something magical or fantastical, it is accidental and nothing more. Outside of Australia's contiguous national standard gauge network, the choice of gauge remains economic and geographic.
Not just here, but in Western Europe and North America too! Over there this gauge has also won its merits to a greater extent than in this country.

The only reason that any gauge narrower than standard even makes sense is because of large and complex networks of narrow gauge tracks in use.
Myrtone

As I said, it depends on what each gauge is there to do. Acacia Ridge to the Port of Brisbane (Fishermans Island) is dual gauge - yet no freight moves on standard gauge. Acacia Ridge to Bromelton has been partly dual gauged, but no narrow gauge trains have been operated south of Acacia Ridge. Where the gauge and freight originates will determine what travels on dual gauge, not the choice of gauge itself.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Russian 5ft gauge is currently being extended into Austria, which marks the first major incursion of this gauge into Western Europe, and it probably won't stop at Vienna - so expect a new gauge debacle to drive deep into Europe over the next decade or two.

In the United States the orders of one President and the outcome of a civil war were the driving factors in establishing a common gauge, in authorsizing the first Transcontinental Railroad in 1862, Abraham Lincoln required the Union Pacific and Central Pacific to build the line to the same standards and gauge as the B&O. This was at a time when most of the Confederate States used 4ft10 and 5ft gauge, while 6ft gauge was widespread across the north. That Australia didn't suffer a major conflict within its territories until 1942 - just as road transport became an alternative - is a big reason the Australian gauge issue has never been resolved.

And, yes, my arguement all along is that the Queensland narrow gauge network remains too large and too complex for mass gauge conversion - not because it's impossible, but simply because it's unaffordably expensive. As I've previously stated, dual gauging QR's North Coast Line by itself will cost between $10.883-billion (around the same as the Inland Rail project) and $13.366-billion - and the NCL represents about one fifth of the QR and Aurizon networks. There is no money for this, from anyone.

Yes, standard gauge and dual gauging makes sense logistically...but economically its a debt this country, or rail operators, will never be able to pay.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Meanwhile, in Europe, Russian 5ft gauge is currently being extended into Austria, which marks the first major incursion of this gauge into Western Europe, and it probably won't stop at Vienna - so expect a new gauge debacle to drive deep into Europe over the next decade or two.
Sulla1
5' gauge is still largely confined to Eastern Europe, especially the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S - formerly the U.S.S.R) and has long been used there, and was established there even before the central command economy. And there must surely be dual gauge track wherever C.I.S trains run in Western Europe. See this photo:

As you can see, the two different gauge tracks are interlaced, apparently, this is the only possible dual gauge track between the two. Another photo shows a bridge with dual gauge track between basically the same two gauges, and the bridge needs to be wide enough for different locations of the centres of the tracks.


Interlaced tracks are not possible in all locations and this may limit the extent that either gauge is extended into the territory of the other.

Also, my comment about standard gauge winning over other in Western Europe and North America doesn't just concern heavy rail. It also applies to tramways and light rail, these too are mostly standard gauge.

And, yes, my arguement all along is that the Queensland narrow gauge network remains too large and too complex for mass gauge conversion - not because it's impossible, but simply because it's unaffordably expensive. As I've previously stated, dual gauging QR's North Coast Line by itself will cost between $10.883-billion (around the same as the Inland Rail project) and $13.366-billion - and the NCL represents about one fifth of the QR and Aurizon networks. There is no money for this, from anyone.
Sulla1


Yes, standard gauge and dual gauging makes sense logistically...but economically its a debt this country, or rail operators, will never be able to pay.
Sulla1

And changing the gauge of a large, interconnected network of tracks is sure to be even more costly and especially more disruptive if dual gauge track between the old and new gauges is not possible.

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