Aurizon moves stored grain wagons to Gympie

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Since Watco began hauling Queensland GrainCorp grain in December 2019, Aurizon's three grain sets have been in storage. Today, one of those sets was transferred by a pair of Aurizon 2470s from Toowoomba's Willowburn Yard to MVR's Gympie yard, joining a large number of Aurizon container wagons already stored there. Rollingstock storage at Gympie is managed by MVR, providing some regular revenue to the heritage steam operation.

Considering Aurizon scrapped its four VASO sugar sets within months of its sugar contract ending in 2017, it appears Aurizon is retaining its narrow gauge grain fleet for the time being.

Sponsored advertisement

  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Since Watco began hauling Queensland GrainCorp grain in December 2019, Aurizon's three grain sets have been in storage. Today, one of those sets was transferred by a pair of Aurizon 2470s from Toowoomba's Willowburn Yard to MVR's Gympie yard, joining a large number of Aurizon container wagons already stored there. Rollingstock storage at Gympie is managed by MVR, providing some regular revenue to the heritage steam operation.

Considering Aurizon scrapped its four VASO sugar sets within months of its sugar contract ending in 2017, it appears Aurizon is retaining its narrow gauge grain fleet for the time being.
Sulla1
Finally seems to be a change in strategic thinking by the Aurizon board. The same with their participation with grain on the standard gauge. Up until recently it seem that their thinking was to jettison everything apart from rock haulage.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Promising but they have burned many of their customers to the ground.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


Considering Aurizon scrapped its four VASO sugar sets within months of its sugar contract ending in 2017, it appears Aurizon is retaining its narrow gauge grain fleet for the time being.Finally seems to be a change in strategic thinking by the Aurizon board. The same with their participation with grain on the standard gauge. Up until recently it seem that their thinking was to jettison everything apart from rock haulage.
Big J

We have not seen much new business won my the aurizon management team other than buying a freight company in Northern Queensland.  They have not been business growth focused outside of rocks.

The decision to scrap intermodal for interstate services I have never understood as they had a large business intrastate and in the coal fields to build the intermodal.  Customers could consign a container/wagon from Perth to Townsville with a single operstor.

I am not sure this exists now in the market unless PN can do this?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner



Considering Aurizon scrapped its four VASO sugar sets within months of its sugar contract ending in 2017, it appears Aurizon is retaining its narrow gauge grain fleet for the time being.Finally seems to be a change in strategic thinking by the Aurizon board. The same with their participation with grain on the standard gauge. Up until recently it seem that their thinking was to jettison everything apart from rock haulage.
Big J

We have not seen much new business won my the aurizon management team other than buying a freight company in Northern Queensland.  They have not been business growth focused outside of rocks.

The decision to scrap intermodal for interstate services I have never understood as they had a large business intrastate and in the coal fields to build the intermodal.  Customers could consign a container/wagon from Perth to Townsville with a single operstor.

I am not sure this exists now in the market unless PN can do this?
"bevans"


PN runs two trains each day from Townsville, and one from Cairns, that offer connections to its standard gauge services south of Brisbane. A container loaded at Cairns, Innisfail, Townsville, Merinda, Mackay and Rockhampton can reach any standard gauge container terminal operated by PN.

Aurizon's actions offloading non-core contracts during 2016 and 2017 can largely be attributed to the mindset of the new senior management at the time.

However, there seems to be a mellowing in this same management, or, more likely the company is realizing the cost benefits of terminating old contracts and restarting them with lower cost operations. For example, Aurizon's 2017/2018 Annual Report noted the cost savings of $12-million per annum by ending its Townsville-Mt Isa freight service after PN won the Glencore business. Much of these savings were from closing crew depots and downsizing others on the Mt Isa Line. Since that time, Aurizon has restarted the Townsville-Mt Isa service, no doubt at a lower operating cost than previously.
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld


Considering Aurizon scrapped its four VASO sugar sets within months of its sugar contract ending in 2017, it appears Aurizon is retaining its narrow gauge grain fleet for the time being.Finally seems to be a change in strategic thinking by the Aurizon board. The same with their participation with grain on the standard gauge. Up until recently it seem that their thinking was to jettison everything apart from rock haulage.
We have not seen much new business won my the aurizon management team other than buying a freight company in Northern Queensland.  They have not been business growth focused outside of rocks.

The decision to scrap intermodal for interstate services I have never understood as they had a large business intrastate and in the coal fields to build the intermodal.  Customers could consign a container/wagon from Perth to Townsville with a single operstor.

I am not sure this exists now in the market unless PN can do this?

PN runs two trains each day from Townsville, and one from Cairns, that offer connections to its standard gauge services south of Brisbane. A container loaded at Cairns, Innisfail, Townsville, Merinda, Mackay and Rockhampton can reach any standard gauge container terminal operated by PN.

Aurizon's actions offloading non-core contracts during 2016 and 2017 can largely be attributed to the mindset of the new senior management at the time.

However, there seems to be a mellowing in this same management, or, more likely the company is realizing the cost benefits of terminating old contracts and restarting them with lower cost operations. For example, Aurizon's 2017/2018 Annual Report noted the cost savings of $12-million per annum by ending its Townsville-Mt Isa freight service after PN won the Glencore business. Much of these savings were from closing crew depots and downsizing others on the Mt Isa Line. Since that time, Aurizon has restarted the Townsville-Mt Isa service, no doubt at a lower operating cost than previously.
Sulla1
Considering the VASO were life expired which was the reason Aurizon lost the sugar contract as it wanted the mills to fund new wagons it would be obvious there was no further use for them.   The VASO were pulled out of grain traffic In off season because it was shortening their lives and Aurizon wanted to get as much use out of them for sugar traffic before fatigue got to them
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner



Considering Aurizon scrapped its four VASO sugar sets within months of its sugar contract ending in 2017, it appears Aurizon is retaining its narrow gauge grain fleet for the time being.Finally seems to be a change in strategic thinking by the Aurizon board. The same with their participation with grain on the standard gauge. Up until recently it seem that their thinking was to jettison everything apart from rock haulage.
We have not seen much new business won my the aurizon management team other than buying a freight company in Northern Queensland.  They have not been business growth focused outside of rocks.

The decision to scrap intermodal for interstate services I have never understood as they had a large business intrastate and in the coal fields to build the intermodal.  Customers could consign a container/wagon from Perth to Townsville with a single operstor.

I am not sure this exists now in the market unless PN can do this?

PN runs two trains each day from Townsville, and one from Cairns, that offer connections to its standard gauge services south of Brisbane. A container loaded at Cairns, Innisfail, Townsville, Merinda, Mackay and Rockhampton can reach any standard gauge container terminal operated by PN.

Aurizon's actions offloading non-core contracts during 2016 and 2017 can largely be attributed to the mindset of the new senior management at the time.

However, there seems to be a mellowing in this same management, or, more likely the company is realizing the cost benefits of terminating old contracts and restarting them with lower cost operations. For example, Aurizon's 2017/2018 Annual Report noted the cost savings of $12-million per annum by ending its Townsville-Mt Isa freight service after PN won the Glencore business. Much of these savings were from closing crew depots and downsizing others on the Mt Isa Line. Since that time, Aurizon has restarted the Townsville-Mt Isa service, no doubt at a lower operating cost than previously.
Sulla1
Considering the VASO were life expired which was the reason Aurizon lost the sugar contract as it wanted the mills to fund new wagons it would be obvious there was no further use for them.   The VASO were pulled out of grain traffic In off season because it was shortening their lives and Aurizon wanted to get as much use out of them for sugar traffic before fatigue got to them
"qredge"


I'm aware of the life-expired arguement against the VASOs, however the current Aurizon grain fleet is made up of aluminium ex-coal hoppers that are up to ten years older than the former VASO fleet, that endured at least twenty years in a heavy haul coal environment.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Considering the VASO were life expired which was the reason Aurizon lost the sugar contract as it wanted the mills to fund new wagons it would be obvious there was no further use for them.   The VASO were pulled out of grain traffic In off season because it was shortening their lives and Aurizon wanted to get as much use out of them for sugar traffic before fatigue got to them
qredge

Would the Sugar company be expected to fund a fleet of trucks?
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Considering the VASO were life expired which was the reason Aurizon lost the sugar contract as it wanted the mills to fund new wagons it would be obvious there was no further use for them.   The VASO were pulled out of grain traffic In off season because it was shortening their lives and Aurizon wanted to get as much use out of them for sugar traffic before fatigue got to them

Would the Sugar company be expected to fund a fleet of trucks?
bevans
They probably do, if not in the initial capital cost, but certainly will in their service rates to pay the trucking company to recover their capital costs for the assets.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Considering the VASO were life expired which was the reason Aurizon lost the sugar contract as it wanted the mills to fund new wagons it would be obvious there was no further use for them.   The VASO were pulled out of grain traffic In off season because it was shortening their lives and Aurizon wanted to get as much use out of them for sugar traffic before fatigue got to them

Would the Sugar company be expected to fund a fleet of trucks?
They probably do, if not in the initial capital cost, but certainly will in their service rates to pay the trucking company to recover their capital costs for the assets.
Big J

Then Aurizon is my point should expect a commercial return pursuant to the covering of leasing costs also.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

MVR is reporting on social media that Aurizon moved a total of 91 additional wagons to Gympie this week, so at least two grain sets by the sounds of that.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Considering the VASO were life expired which was the reason Aurizon lost the sugar contract as it wanted the mills to fund new wagons it would be obvious there was no further use for them.   The VASO were pulled out of grain traffic In off season because it was shortening their lives and Aurizon wanted to get as much use out of them for sugar traffic before fatigue got to them

Would the Sugar company be expected to fund a fleet of trucks?
They probably do, if not in the initial capital cost, but certainly will in their service rates to pay the trucking company to recover their capital costs for the assets.

Then Aurizon is my point should expect a commercial return pursuant to the covering of leasing costs also.
bevans
Absolutely, just like PN has to and did.

They obviously couldn't do it cheaper than PN for the rail connected mills and couldn't win any work from the lost to road mills. In fact I doubt they will ever win sugar work back from road ever again. The Pioneer Valley line is gone and the FNQ mills have been road hauled for years. Only Burdekin Mills and the Proserpine Mill are rail hauled and PN obviously were hungrier than Aurizon who at that stage were becoming so arrogant to non rock hauled work they probably priced it to lose.

My point is that PN had to invest in capital and requires a commercial return. They won the job. Whereas Aurizon walked away.

As I said, it is nice to see finally the Aurizon board waking up. Their strategy was to be lazy and focus on their high margin efficient work and cut the pain the neck low margin work. It appears that they realising shrinking their market share isn't really smart and are finally diversifying. Not sure if rock haulage will be the golden goose that it is, in a decade's time.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans, Big J, qredge

Display from: