Franchising back on the agenda in South Australia

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 15 May 2020 17:21
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Could not let this one go an assessment on rail freight in the South Australian marketplace further underpinning my view of what a poor job the management of GWA have done.

As far as freight is concerned, ISA notes that road freight accounts for 88.3% of domestic freight compared to 5.9% for rail.

It says much of the current road network is in poor condition, which limits efficiency and productivity. “There are also limited options to get bulk minerals to market,” ISA says.

“For South Australia to fully capture potential growth opportunities from its iron-ore resources, a more efficient bulk export solution must be identified. “Government should work with industry and local councils to identify potential efficiency and safety improvements to supply chains.

Proposed solutions should be evidence-based and mode-agnostic, and should consider incremental investments in the network such as rail spurs and addressing pinch points or first/last mile constraints in the supply chain.”
ISA

That is quite an ominous figure for a large state like South Australia pointing to a poor investment record for rail access and bulk port management.


Franchising back on the agenda in South Australia

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  AheadMatthewawsome Junior Train Controller

Location: Opening Train Lines
Franchising, or privatising should not even be considered to be on the table until Covid-19 is over and everyone stops freaking out about packed trains. I am not a local of Adelaide, but I could see that if there is not enough people going on public transport. If it was owned by the government, they would fund it to keep it alive for post Covid-19. If it was franchised, or privatised, I could see a lot of lines being considered non profitable and would close it. And then wake up in a post Doctor Beeching world where we need them! Like what happened to the UK.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Franchising, or privatising should not even be considered to be on the table until Covid-19 is over and everyone stops freaking out about packed trains. I am not a local of Adelaide, but I could see that if there is not enough people going on public transport. If it was owned by the government, they would fund it to keep it alive for post Covid-19. If it was franchised, or privatised, I could see a lot of lines being considered non profitable and would close it. And then wake up in a post Doctor Beeching world where we need them! Like what happened to the UK.
AheadMatthewawsome
I am not convinced that COVID has much of an impact on freight of bulk minerals...
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I don’t understand how the freight fits in to the plan if you think about the first post and the percentage on rail quite low something has to change in south Australia if they Are going to lower emissions
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Franchising the SA rail freight network - WHAT NETWORK? Mashall just signed off on the closure of the entire Eyre Peninsula rail network, he's also leaving the Loxton line to fall apart. There's nothing left to franchise - the road freight industry have completely won in South Australia - there's no intra-state rail network left.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Franchising the SA rail freight network - WHAT NETWORK? Mashall just signed off on the closure of the entire Eyre Peninsula rail network, he's also leaving the Loxton line to fall apart. There's nothing left to franchise - the road freight industry have completely won in South Australia - there's no intra-state rail network left.
don_dunstan
I agree.

However the way I read the initial post it is also including passenger services, not just the non-existent freight. So this is more of flogging off the PT element. Have read too much in it?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It's quite a muddled story.

Franchising was rejected for the Adelaide Metro passenger service, and management contracts chosen instead. Management contracts have worked quite well for Adelaide Metro bus services over the years and have been embraced by blue governments (who cautiously started it by tendering for three of the six bus contract areas, and having the public owned company TransAdelaide included in the bidding) and red governments (ALP contracted out the remaining areas and abolished TransAdelaide so it is now all private sector).

The contract for the trams has already been announced, they are being included in the North-South bus contract to be operated by Torrens Connect (a partnership of Torrens Transit, John Holland and UGL Rail).

The contract for the trains has not been announced yet, for reasons unknown.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
How did Marshall sign off on the Eyre network ?

Let’s not forget the south east which has never been fixed and converted. For a state who had so much rail is now a thing of the past.

GWA have had opportunities to make it work but never did.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
How did Marshall sign off on the Eyre network ?

Let’s not forget the south east which has never been fixed and converted. For a state who had so much rail is now a thing of the past.

GWA have had opportunities to make it work but never did.
freightgate
Allowed Viterra to transfer all operations to road putting 30,000 truck movements on the roads. Ultimately they needed state government permission to do that and Steve Marshall said 'yes'.

And yes, GWA have more or less completed the hatchet job of SAR begun under my namesake; there's no intra-state rail freight left in South Australia now (to my knowledge but I'm open to correction).
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
How did Marshall sign off on the Eyre network ?

Let’s not forget the south east which has never been fixed and converted. For a state who had so much rail is now a thing of the past.

GWA have had opportunities to make it work but never did.
freightgate
Allowed Viterra to transfer all operations to road putting 30,000 truck movements on the roads. Ultimately they needed state government permission to do that and Steve Marshall said 'yes'.

And yes, GWA have more or less completed the hatchet job of SAR begun under my namesake; there's no intra-state rail freight left in South Australia now (to my knowledge but I'm open to correction).
"don_dunstan"

What more do you expect from completely de-regulating the economy and selling off public assets. Was inevitable, especially under a liberal government.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
How did Marshall sign off on the Eyre network ?

Let’s not forget the south east which has never been fixed and converted. For a state who had so much rail is now a thing of the past.

GWA have had opportunities to make it work but never did.
Allowed Viterra to transfer all operations to road putting 30,000 truck movements on the roads. Ultimately they needed state government permission to do that and Steve Marshall said 'yes'.

And yes, GWA have more or less completed the hatchet job of SAR begun under my namesake; there's no intra-state rail freight left in South Australia now (to my knowledge but I'm open to correction).
don_dunstan

But isn't GWA to blame here?  Why did the customer want to leave rail if it was working for them?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
How did Marshall sign off on the Eyre network ?

Let’s not forget the south east which has never been fixed and converted. For a state who had so much rail is now a thing of the past.

GWA have had opportunities to make it work but never did.
Allowed Viterra to transfer all operations to road putting 30,000 truck movements on the roads. Ultimately they needed state government permission to do that and Steve Marshall said 'yes'.

And yes, GWA have more or less completed the hatchet job of SAR begun under my namesake; there's no intra-state rail freight left in South Australia now (to my knowledge but I'm open to correction).

But isn't GWA to blame here?  Why did the customer want to leave rail if it was working for them?
bevans
I'm not really up with the latest politics on why GWA have sought to more or less walk away from the SA intra-state rail network pretty much in its entirety. I've got to also admit to not knowing why the Marshall government more or less agreed with Viterra and GWA that rail freight on the Eyre was a non-viable proposition. The only things left now are the operations around Whyalla and some standard gauge containers and grain but nothing else.

It's just the last chapter in 45 years of rapid destruction of the SAR network accelerated by the mix of the SA government washing their hands of the network and its operations and the poor management of the system by the subsequent operators (public and private). The latest death blows in recent years have been the cessation of coal to Port Augusta and Penrice limestone from their quarry in the Barossa Valley; once those things went I guess it was just a matter of time before what was left became uneconomical. There are parts of South Australia (most of the Riverland, the South East) that have had no rail whatsoever for decades and I guess the SA government in conjunction with GWA have decided unofficially to give up simply because trucking is cheaper and easier. Sad but true.
  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

1rail (Ex GWA) still rail the Gypsum between the mine at Kevin to Thevenard on the Eyre Peninsula.

This is open to correction but I believe the servicing and maintenance side of things has been moved to Thevenard from Port Lincoln.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
1rail (Ex GWA) still rail the Gypsum between the mine at Kevin to Thevenard on the Eyre Peninsula.

This is open to correction but I believe the servicing and maintenance side of things has been moved to Thevenard from Port Lincoln.
SAR520SMBH
Thank-you, wasn't aware that the entire network hadn't closed.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
It's quite a muddled story.

Franchising was rejected for the Adelaide Metro passenger service, and management contracts chosen instead. Management contracts have worked quite well for Adelaide Metro bus services over the years and have been embraced by blue governments (who cautiously started it by tendering for three of the six bus contract areas, and having the public owned company TransAdelaide included in the bidding) and red governments (ALP contracted out the remaining areas and abolished TransAdelaide so it is now all private sector).

The contract for the trams has already been announced, they are being included in the North-South bus contract to be operated by Torrens Connect (a partnership of Torrens Transit, John Holland and UGL Rail).

The contract for the trains has not been announced yet, for reasons unknown.
justapassenger
Thanks for clarifying!
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
It's quite a muddled story.

Franchising was rejected for the Adelaide Metro passenger service, and management contracts chosen instead. Management contracts have worked quite well for Adelaide Metro bus services over the years and have been embraced by blue governments (who cautiously started it by tendering for three of the six bus contract areas, and having the public owned company TransAdelaide included in the bidding) and red governments (ALP contracted out the remaining areas and abolished TransAdelaide so it is now all private sector).

The contract for the trams has already been announced, they are being included in the North-South bus contract to be operated by Torrens Connect (a partnership of Torrens Transit, John Holland and UGL Rail).

The contract for the trains has not been announced yet, for reasons unknown.
justapassenger
The short list of 3 for the train contract was announced in December 2019.  The Invitiation to Supply was issued in February (see press release https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/better-train-services-on-the-way). Both in December and again in the February release it was stated that the successful tenderer would be decided in the second half of 2020.
  Railwayfan Train Controller

Location: By a Railway
1rail (Ex GWA) still rail the Gypsum between the mine at Kevin to Thevenard on the Eyre Peninsula.

This is open to correction but I believe the servicing and maintenance side of things has been moved to Thevenard from Port Lincoln.
SAR520SMBH
This is correct.

The 60 odd kms of track from Thevenard to Kevin mine is still operational for traffic with 3 trains running daily by One Rail Aus. With the ceasation of grain trains, all maintenance activities moved to Thevenard. However, the facility is only a basic 2 road maintenance shop and lacks a drop table (and other equipment), thus when locos require traction motor change outs, a crane contractor is brought in to lift locos. Port Lincoln workshops still remain open for re-skinning/re-sheeting of Gypo wagons (RSKs + ENH/ENHA types).

Technically, the EP lines have only seen trains stop running and aren't 'closed', evident from the infrastructure all still in place as is since June 23rd when the last transfer occurred (with the exception of the wharf area) and various media releases. Theoretically, trains could operate today still although dependent on track inspection of the line.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
1rail (Ex GWA) still rail the Gypsum between the mine at Kevin to Thevenard on the Eyre Peninsula.

This is open to correction but I believe the servicing and maintenance side of things has been moved to Thevenard from Port Lincoln.
This is correct.

The 60 odd kms of track from Thevenard to Kevin mine is still operational for traffic with 3 trains running daily by One Rail Aus. With the ceasation of grain trains, all maintenance activities moved to Thevenard. However, the facility is only a basic 2 road maintenance shop and lacks a drop table (and other equipment), thus when locos require traction motor change outs, a crane contractor is brought in to lift locos. Port Lincoln workshops still remain open for re-skinning/re-sheeting of Gypo wagons (RSKs + ENH/ENHA types).

Technically, the EP lines have only seen trains stop running and aren't 'closed', evident from the infrastructure all still in place as is since June 23rd when the last transfer occurred (with the exception of the wharf area) and various media releases. Theoretically, trains could operate today still although dependent on track inspection of the line.
Railwayfan
Along with that IIRC GWA were keeping a skeleton crew at Pt Lincoln along with moving the remaining Running locos into dry storage 'just in case' grain traffic recommences. Unsure if that has changed.
  Railwayfan Train Controller

Location: By a Railway
1rail (Ex GWA) still rail the Gypsum between the mine at Kevin to Thevenard on the Eyre Peninsula.

This is open to correction but I believe the servicing and maintenance side of things has been moved to Thevenard from Port Lincoln.
This is correct.

The 60 odd kms of track from Thevenard to Kevin mine is still operational for traffic with 3 trains running daily by One Rail Aus. With the ceasation of grain trains, all maintenance activities moved to Thevenard. However, the facility is only a basic 2 road maintenance shop and lacks a drop table (and other equipment), thus when locos require traction motor change outs, a crane contractor is brought in to lift locos. Port Lincoln workshops still remain open for re-skinning/re-sheeting of Gypo wagons (RSKs + ENH/ENHA types).

Technically, the EP lines have only seen trains stop running and aren't 'closed', evident from the infrastructure all still in place as is since June 23rd when the last transfer occurred (with the exception of the wharf area) and various media releases. Theoretically, trains could operate today still although dependent on track inspection of the line.
Along with that IIRC GWA were keeping a skeleton crew at Pt Lincoln along with moving the remaining Running locos into dry storage 'just in case' grain traffic recommences. Unsure if that has changed.
Dangersdan707
The current staff there are brought in from elsewhere (I believe only 2 or 3 people are there now) from either Thevenard or Whyalla ect. There are no qualified drivers in Lincoln, hence the 1200s remain tucked away in the workshops. They may be fired up, although I think this is unlikely as there is no expected work for them in the near term future. The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.

Grain traffic is highly unlikely to return, even is there is a bumped crop. T-Ports has also opened at Lucky Bay removing some of the northern crop capacity from running south (although is only about 400,000 tpa when that is running at full capacity). While there is arguably a large capacity still sent to Port Lincoln, the wharf unloading roads have been covered by at least 1-2 m of fill over the track in places and either side of the crossing is fenced off over the track also. Only a large minerals contract that exports through Lincoln is likely to bring back rail.
  splod Junior Train Controller

Location: Darwin, NT

...
The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.
...
Railwayfan
Well they'd have to find standard gauge bogies for them all first, so what's the real likelihood?

What grain traffic is currently on rail in SA at the moment in any case?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

...
The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.
...
Well they'd have to find standard gauge bogies for them all first, so what's the real likelihood?

What grain traffic is currently on rail in SA at the moment in any case?
splod

Not much grain on rail in SA
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide

...
The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.
...
Well they'd have to find standard gauge bogies for them all first, so what's the real likelihood?

What grain traffic is currently on rail in SA at the moment in any case?

Not much grain on rail in SA
bevans
A northbound grain train passed through Dudley Park on SG yesterday afternoon.  It was headed by three locos including 2 Aurizon.  Bound for Port Adelaide or Outer Harbor?
  Railwayfan Train Controller

Location: By a Railway

...
The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.
...
Well they'd have to find standard gauge bogies for them all first, so what's the real likelihood?

What grain traffic is currently on rail in SA at the moment in any case?
splod
They were only transferred over in 2016 with the first working on the system in 2017; finding a set of SG bogies won't be hard. Rail companies, or at least  ORA, tend to hang onto bogies for re-purposing, as they've done with the hoppers cut up in 09 and more recently the HAN, HBN and HCN class hoppers. My suspicion, although I'm not 100%, they may have used theryre existing bogies, which the wagons were designed to be gauge convertible, hence the letter 'X' at the end of their wagon code in AHGX.

There's currently about 9 or sites left that are regularly serviced, albeit on an adhock basis, by SG. I don't if the following are all correct but I believe these are still rail serviced: Bowans, Coonalpyn, Crystal brook, Tailem Bend, Snowtown, Gladstone, Bordertown + Monarto South (not 100% sure on these two), Woesley and Keith. Check out the Viterra network map which shows all the sites alongside the current SG railway line that are presumably all regularly rail served. Someone will be able to fill in my gaps in knowledge too.
  Railwayfan Train Controller

Location: By a Railway

...
The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.
...
Well they'd have to find standard gauge bogies for them all first, so what's the real likelihood?

What grain traffic is currently on rail in SA at the moment in any case?

Not much grain on rail in SA
A northbound grain train passed through Dudley Park on SG yesterday afternoon.  It was headed by three locos including 2 Aurizon.  Bound for Port Adelaide or Outer Harbor?
62430
That one is a drought relief grain train I think. I believe it was heading back to NSW via Broken Hill, but I am unsure on its origin. I caught it Greenfields yesterday. It was headed by 6044 (yellow). Its the third that I am aware of in the past 2-3 weeks by Aurizon. PN have also operated at least two as well.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

...
The stored AHGX's are likely to return back to Adelaide if there is bumper crop over this way, for which until then remain stored in the main yard.
...
Well they'd have to find standard gauge bogies for them all first, so what's the real likelihood?

What grain traffic is currently on rail in SA at the moment in any case?

Not much grain on rail in SA
bevans

I wish interstaters would stop commenting on things they know nothing about.

Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain have been railed from South Australia to interstate destinations over the last couple of years - it is not as though these movements have not been reported elsewhere on Railpage.

Pacific National, Southern Shorthaul, QUBE, One Rail and Aurizon have all loaded many trains at SA silos for destinations in NSW. On a few occasions as many as three interstate trains have loaded in SA on one day and PN at times have run 3 trains a week. Of course many of the SSR trains have loaded to 100 wagons.

Now that there is a slowdown in the interstate traffic, One Rail have been operating export grain trains to Outer Harbour again

The Aurizon train mentioned above, loaded at Tailem Bend and will head to Broadbent's siding at Moree, NSW.

There is no doubt that the movement of grain by rail in South Australia has reduced greatly over the last decade and some terrible decisions have been made by all parties concerned, but if you are going to argue the case then at least get your facts right.

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