Murray Basin standardisation

 
  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Governments are still afraid of raising taxes, which given the mess everyone is in, needs to happen once we start getting back to normal, or the feds need to crank up the presses and print enough money to buy out of it that way.
Galron

Agreed tax hikes can wait a while, but really the feds should be the ones pulling their finger out here and building more infrastructure. Considering the insanely low interest rates we are likely to have (and for a very long time indeed, if Europe of Japan is anything to go by), and the very large capacity that the federal government has to issue AUD in Australia (a special power that nobody else has), it is insanity not to try and build this properly up to scratch. The way things are going now, we'll all be working on infrastructure projects in a few years time anyway. Now really is the time to be building infrastructure that will reshape the national economy.

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  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It’s certainly a mess. If Sea Lake and Manangatang remain BG then, apart from the necessary loops, either:
Ballarat - Gheringhap has to be DG (plus perhaps with both tracks between Gheringhap and North Geelong being fully DG’ed).
or
Ballarat – Gheringhap is SG; and BG freight paths found Ballarat – Bacchus Marsh - Melbourne and/or Bendigo – Melbourne (assuming Inglewood – Eaglehawk is reopened).

Ballarat – Maryborough would have to be DG with either option, limiting the BG passenger service to 80 km/h.

Once there is some sort of SG path Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap, then Maryborough – Ararat would only be used for Portland and any points west of Ararat. (It would be at risk of falling into disuse, much the same as it did after conversion to SG in 1996, unless the mineral sands eventuate and/or there’s an upsurge in grain.) If Ballarat – Gheringhap is DG then Inglewood – Eaglehawk would probably see little use (ignoring Bendigo Metro).
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Can I throw in a broader strategic question here, as it has relevance for what the network needs to look like.

What are the plans for grain shipments ex Appleton/PoM?  In NSW that traffic was moved out of Sydney to Ports Kembla and Newcastle, given the traffic in the metro area.  Is there any move to say encourage grain shipments to be done from Geelong or Portland and free PoM up for containers/general freight etc?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
It’s certainly a mess. If Sea Lake and Manangatang remain BG then, apart from the necessary loops, either:
Ballarat - Gheringhap has to be DG (plus perhaps with both tracks between Gheringhap and North Geelong being fully DG’ed).
or
Ballarat – Gheringhap is SG; and BG freight paths found Ballarat – Bacchus Marsh - Melbourne and/or Bendigo – Melbourne (assuming Inglewood – Eaglehawk is reopened).

Ballarat – Maryborough would have to be DG with either option, limiting the BG passenger service to 80 km/h.

Once there is some sort of SG path Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap, then Maryborough – Ararat would only be used for Portland and any points west of Ararat. (It would be at risk of falling into disuse, much the same as it did after conversion to SG in 1996, unless the mineral sands eventuate and/or there’s an upsurge in grain.) If Ballarat – Gheringhap is DG then Inglewood – Eaglehawk would probably see little use (ignoring Bendigo Metro).
kitchgp
For Manangatang/Sea Lake, it would have to be the lower of the cost of:

1. reactivating Inglewood-Eaglehawk as BG
2. DG to Ballarat and SG to Gheringhap.

Id seriously doubt that DG to Gheringhap would be considered given the cost.

Reality is that Manangatang/Sea Lake are not going to have massive tonnages as long as they are 19TAL, so finding paths on either Bendigo-Melbourne or Ballarat Melbourne is going to be not a hard ask.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Can I throw in a broader strategic question here, as it has relevance for what the network needs to look like.

What are the plans for grain shipments ex Appleton/PoM?  In NSW that traffic was moved out of Sydney to Ports Kembla and Newcastle, given the traffic in the metro area.  Is there any move to say encourage grain shipments to be done from Geelong or Portland and free PoM up for containers/general freight etc?
james.au
Not sure if there is one, Geetroit already does a fair whack of grain (although nowhere near as much as Melbourne), Portland far less so but I don't think that the new leaseholders at the PoM would be looking to lose ANY business. They paid a serious chunk of coin for the lease rights and have plans to expand the business in pretty much all areas IIRC.

The challenge for them and VicGov is how to get the goods to and from the port
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Can I throw in a broader strategic question here, as it has relevance for what the network needs to look like.

What are the plans for grain shipments ex Appleton/PoM?  In NSW that traffic was moved out of Sydney to Ports Kembla and Newcastle, given the traffic in the metro area.  Is there any move to say encourage grain shipments to be done from Geelong or Portland and free PoM up for containers/general freight etc?
james.au
https://www.portofmelbourne.com/facilities-development/port-rail-transformation-project/

An interesting video from the POM's Port Devepment Strategy site (https://www.portofmelbourne.com/facilities-development/port-development-strategy/)

Not specific to grain but gives some overview as to what they are doing. Interesting mention of the PoM aquiring rail assets from Qube and ACFS Port Logistics

For this stuff to even have a chance of keeping trucks off the road though we need other parts of the network like MBS and the Ballarat Freight project to be completed not stalled like a Hay train on Warrenheip Bank
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

It’s certainly a mess. If Sea Lake and Manangatang remain BG then, apart from the necessary loops, either:
Ballarat - Gheringhap has to be DG (plus perhaps with both tracks between Gheringhap and North Geelong being fully DG’ed).
or
Ballarat – Gheringhap is SG; and BG freight paths found Ballarat – Bacchus Marsh - Melbourne and/or Bendigo – Melbourne (assuming Inglewood – Eaglehawk is reopened).

Ballarat – Maryborough would have to be DG with either option, limiting the BG passenger service to 80 km/h.

Once there is some sort of SG path Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap, then Maryborough – Ararat would only be used for Portland and any points west of Ararat. (It would be at risk of falling into disuse, much the same as it did after conversion to SG in 1996, unless the mineral sands eventuate and/or there’s an upsurge in grain.) If Ballarat – Gheringhap is DG then Inglewood – Eaglehawk would probably see little use (ignoring Bendigo Metro).
For Manangatang/Sea Lake, it would have to be the lower of the cost of:

1. reactivating Inglewood-Eaglehawk as BG
2. DG to Ballarat and SG to Gheringhap.

Id seriously doubt that DG to Gheringhap would be considered given the cost.

Reality is that Manangatang/Sea Lake are not going to have massive tonnages as long as they are 19TAL, so finding paths on either Bendigo-Melbourne or Ballarat Melbourne is going to be not a hard ask.
Now the three most likely options given the secrecy behind waht has actually been put fiorward to Canberra for further funding :

1, Minamalist -  just re-rail Ararat  Maryborough and leave as is.  Dreadful result we are stuck with a split gauge network that has far less capacity than pre-standardization thanks to apalling specification in the first place.
2. Medium cop out option -  re-rail Maryborough - Ararat , dual gauge Maryborough Ballarat, standardize Ballarat East to Warrenheip Loop South line, and standardize Warrenheip Loop to Gheringhap.  (In this case b g V/locity VLP is understood to be happy with 90kmh so they still play trains with their Maryborough bg tarin set.)
3. Full completion as originally planned.

Under either 1 or 2 you need Inglewood  Eaglehawk re-opened so any average or above average harvest bg brings our 500,000 tonnes grain off the Korongvale group of lines.  The only way to handle this is by running grain trains Southbound via Bendigo to Melbourne and Geelong, and returning empty via Warrenheip, maryborough and Dunolly. Totally avoids any broad gauge crosses . Without Inglewood  eaglehawk re-opened you can only run 1 train each day off both Korongvale branches (whereas with Inglewood  Eaglehawk open( you can run 2 off each branch each day), and you have a 170 km single line section from Korong Vale to Millbrook or  Warrenheip .
kuldalai
Option 2 might become an interim step.  From what I'm hearing on the grapevine, most Down SG trains might end up going via Ararat, with Up trains through Ballarat.

If it is interim, then Inglewood - Eaglehawk re-opening also allows BG traffic to continue during conversion works South of Maryborough.  Even if it's for 5-10 years before the $$ become available to finish the project.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech

Under either 1 or 2 you need Inglewood  Eaglehawk re-opened so any average or above average harvest bg brings our 500,000 tonnes grain off the Korongvale group of lines.  The only way to handle this is by running grain trains Southbound via Bendigo to Melbourne and Geelong, and returning empty via Warrenheip, maryborough and Dunolly. Totally avoids any broad gauge crosses . Without Inglewood  eaglehawk re-opened you can only run 1 train each day off both Korongvale branches (whereas with Inglewood  Eaglehawk open( you can run 2 off each branch each day), and you have a 170 km single line section from Korong Vale to Millbrook or  Warrenheip .
kuldalai

Why are the grain lines restricted to only 1 train per day as above?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet

Under either 1 or 2 you need Inglewood  Eaglehawk re-opened so any average or above average harvest bg brings our 500,000 tonnes grain off the Korongvale group of lines.  The only way to handle this is by running grain trains Southbound via Bendigo to Melbourne and Geelong, and returning empty via Warrenheip, maryborough and Dunolly. Totally avoids any broad gauge crosses . Without Inglewood  eaglehawk re-opened you can only run 1 train each day off both Korongvale branches (whereas with Inglewood  Eaglehawk open( you can run 2 off each branch each day), and you have a 170 km single line section from Korong Vale to Millbrook or  Warrenheip .
Why are the grain lines restricted to only 1 train per day as above?
NSWGR8022
Lack of crossing loops, signalling ect...
Adding more crossing loops probably would be cheeper than re-opening Inglewood-Eaglehawk and cramming more freight onto the overcrowded Bendigo line.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quick calculation on my part:

500,000 tonnes
45 tonnes per wagon
= 11,000 wagons give or take

Cleared over what period? 6 months?

= 110 working days therefore 100 wagons of grain per working day.  That is more than 2 trains per working day?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
https://www.portofmelbourne.com/facilities-development/port-rail-transformation-project/

An interesting video from the POM's Port Devepment Strategy site (https://www.portofmelbourne.com/facilities-development/port-development-strategy/)

Not specific to grain but gives some overview as to what they are doing. Interesting mention of the PoM aquiring rail assets from Qube and ACFS Port Logistics

For this stuff to even have a chance of keeping trucks off the road though we need other parts of the network like MBS and the Ballarat Freight project to be completed not stalled like a Hay train on Warrenheip Bank
BrentonGolding

The upgrades to rail on a single map.

  Carnot Minister for Railways

Option 2 might be the interim step that's adopted if funds are scarce.  I'm hearing on the grapevine that most SG trains will go via Ararat on the Down, and via Ballarat on the Up.

As for Sea Lake and Manangatang, re-opening Inglewood to Eaglehawk would at least enable a path for BG trains during conversion works and a level of redundancy.  Maybe in 5-10 years there will be $$ to complete those lines to SG?  The feds are going to be pretty reluctant to cough up money at present if they're staring down the barrel of a $1 trillion debt...
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think the feds will be under pressure to hand over money for projects like this the problem being the track record of victoria and specifically vline to deliver projects on time, scope and budget is non existent and this may put the feds off.

@Carnot what do you think of the numbers above?

Inglewood to Bendigo is needed very soon to meet those volumes.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I think the feds will be under pressure to hand over money for projects like this the problem being the track record of victoria and specifically vline to deliver projects on time, scope and budget is non existent and this may put the feds off.

@Carnot what do you think of the numbers above?

Inglewood to Bendigo is needed very soon to meet those volumes.
bevans
It depends if the forecast big grain harvest actually happens.  It hasn't rained much since June 1 up here....

The added complication is that Bendigo yard is about to lose 2 of its 4 available roads to the new Biowash facility.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
It depends if the forecast big grain harvest actually happens.  It hasn't rained much since June 1 up here....
Carnot
Yes we are getting close to crunch time, the next 5 - 6 weeks will tell the tail. Once you get to August longer daylight  hours and it starts to and can nicely warm, the pressure is on the crops for moisture.

With such a terrific start to the cropping season, the lack of rain over the last couple of months hasn't had much of an effect, plenty of frosts, though not good. You just can't beat a great start to the year, otherwise it's like playing catch up for the rest of year.

BigShunter.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think the feds will be under pressure to hand over money for projects like this the problem being the track record of victoria and specifically vline to deliver projects on time, scope and budget is non existent and this may put the feds off.

@Carnot what do you think of the numbers above?

Inglewood to Bendigo is needed very soon to meet those volumes.
It depends if the forecast big grain harvest actually happens.  It hasn't rained much since June 1 up here....

The added complication is that Bendigo yard is about to lose 2 of its 4 available roads to the new Biowash facility.
Carnot

temp however?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
It depends if the forecast big grain harvest actually happens.  It hasn't rained much since June 1 up here....
Yes we are getting close to crunch time, the next 5 - 6 weeks will tell the tail. Once you get to August longer daylight  hours and it starts to and can nicely warm, the pressure is on the crops for moisture.

With such a terrific start to the cropping season, the lack of rain over the last couple of months hasn't had much of an effect, plenty of frosts, though not good. You just can't beat a great start to the year, otherwise it's like playing catch up for the rest of year.

BigShunter.
BigShunter
Having a but of a dry pinch in the middle can be good for crops.  It gets them pushing their roots down further looking for moisture and lets them access more nutrients, giving them a bit more quality.  Plus if the finish is a bit dry, they can use the water for longer as it progresses down the soil profile.

Thouhgh, of course if no rain comes then doesnt matter how long the roots are...
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It depends if the forecast big grain harvest actually happens.  It hasn't rained much since June 1 up here....
Yes we are getting close to crunch time, the next 5 - 6 weeks will tell the tail. Once you get to August longer daylight  hours and it starts to and can nicely warm, the pressure is on the crops for moisture.

With such a terrific start to the cropping season, the lack of rain over the last couple of months hasn't had much of an effect, plenty of frosts, though not good. You just can't beat a great start to the year, otherwise it's like playing catch up for the rest of year.

BigShunter.
Having a but of a dry pinch in the middle can be good for crops.  It gets them pushing their roots down further looking for moisture and lets them access more nutrients, giving them a bit more quality.  Plus if the finish is a bit dry, they can use the water for longer as it progresses down the soil profile.

Thouhgh, of course if no rain comes then doesnt matter how long the roots are...
james.au

Things are looking shaky in some places.  Farmers are already reporting frost damage, and Horsham is having it's driest July since 1997.  If it doesn't rain in August, it could end up rather bad for many.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

Ballarat – Maryborough would have to be DG with either option, limiting the BG passenger service to 80 km/h.
kitchgp

I believe approval has been given for dual-guage trains between Maryborough & Ballarat, when that eventually occurs to travel up to 100Km/h.

As the track between Ballarat and Maryborough is winding and undulating, there are very few places where the train could exceed 100Km/h, if that were physically possible for very long.

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Having a but of a dry pinch in the middle can be good for crops.  It gets them pushing their roots down further looking for moisture and lets them access more nutrients, giving them a bit more quality.  Plus if the finish is a bit dry, they can use the water for longer as it progresses down the soil profile.

Thouhgh, of course if no rain comes then doesnt matter how long the roots are...

Things are looking shaky in some places.  Farmers are already reporting frost damage, and Horsham is having it's driest July since 1997.  If it doesn't rain in August, it could end up rather bad for many.
Carnot

There have been a few -3c temps around Hopetoun recently and that's not too good for young crops.

M.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Any re-railing that should be done, looks like there certainly is plenty of decent weighted rail ( what condition it's in, is another thing ) around.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/productivityboosting-rail-project-on-track-for-south-australia

Productivity-boosting rail project on track for South Australia.

The project involved upgrading approximately 600 kilometres of standard gauge rail track between Adelaide and Tarcoola line by replacing 47-kilogram-per-metre rail with stronger 60-kilogram-per-metre rail, allowing for 25-tonne axle load limits.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said nearly 70,000 tonnes of Australian-made steel from Liberty’s Whyalla plant was delivered as part of this critical upgrade, providing a welcome boost to local steel manufacturing.

Wonder what the plan is with the old rail ?

BigShunter.

is there a link to somewhere that identifies what weight rail is on a particular line ?
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Any re-railing that should be done, looks like there certainly is plenty of decent weighted rail ( what condition it's in, is another thing ) around.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/productivityboosting-rail-project-on-track-for-south-australia

Productivity-boosting rail project on track for South Australia.

The project involved upgrading approximately 600 kilometres of standard gauge rail track between Adelaide and Tarcoola line by replacing 47-kilogram-per-metre rail with stronger 60-kilogram-per-metre rail, allowing for 25-tonne axle load limits.

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said nearly 70,000 tonnes of Australian-made steel from Liberty’s Whyalla plant was delivered as part of this critical upgrade, providing a welcome boost to local steel manufacturing.

Wonder what the plan is with the old rail ?

BigShunter.

is there a link to somewhere that identifies what weight rail is on a particular line ?
BigShunter


The rail is full of fatigue.  At the very least it would need to have  the welds cropped out of it and re welded.   Unless its for a siding its scrap, it snot worth its transport.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Wonder what the plan is with the old rail ?

BigShunter.
BigShunter
To India iirc, to be used for non rail related purposes.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

……………………………………………………………………….

Under either 1 or 2 you need Inglewood  Eaglehawk re-opened so any average or above average harvest bg brings our 500,000 tonnes grain off the Korongvale group of lines.  The only way to handle this is by running grain trains Southbound via Bendigo to Melbourne and Geelong, and returning empty via Warrenheip, maryborough and Dunolly. Totally avoids any broad gauge crosses . Without Inglewood  eaglehawk re-opened you can only run 1 train each day off both Korongvale branches (whereas with Inglewood  Eaglehawk open( you can run 2 off each branch each day), and you have a 170 km single line section from Korong Vale to Millbrook or  Warrenheip .
kuldalai??


Option 2 might become an interim step.  From what I'm hearing on the grapevine, most Down SG trains might end up going via Ararat, with Up trains through Ballarat.
kuldalai??


Perhaps reverse either the SG option or the BG option. The above means SG and BG are opposite direction in the Ballarat – Maryborough section. Both BG & SG Down via Ballarat would avoid loaded Up trains using the Warrenheip bank (although there may be grade considerations elsewhere) and, given there are currently no loops Ballarat – Maryborough, take some small advantage from the ATC signalling.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
With this talk of a truncated project, what about the claims that operators like PN will pack ups their trains and not offer service anymore?  Is this still the case, or are there enough trains to do the remaining BG for a while yet?

Will also be interesting to see how BG and SG networks compare.  This will be the first time that we get a good comparison of the costs of the two.  Not that we will see the numbers here on RP aside from some ESR numbers from AWB that show the upcountry transport costs.

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