Laucke flour mills bridgewater

 
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
A friend over last night who mentioned the flour mills and stockfeed facility at Bridgewater had been upgraded to more input and output but was unable to work with Vline for rail service.

Sponsored advertisement

  Carnot Minister for Railways

Laucke generally use speciality grains, but if they requested access and VLine refused, then the Govt should hang their heads in shame.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
3 x weekly trains into the milling plant and they would not return a phone call.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

3 x weekly trains into the milling plant and they would not return a phone call.
freightgate
Time to contact news journalists and Jacinta Allan....
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
What an amazingly simplified view of the world you guys have.

You don't just ring up VLine or Vic Track and ask them to reinstate some disused railway line because you want to run some trains. Who at Vline did they speak to?

Normally you would write a letter or two asking for some costings/ guidance as to how to proceed with the project. It would be a good idea to approach a rail operator or two to help with costings, and get their views and maybe assistance in progressing the project. Elsewhere on RP we are being told PN don;t have enough resources as it is, so where are the required assets coming from and who is going to pay for them?

You'd also talk to the guys in the rail section at DoT - yes there are still one or two very pro-rail people in the department believe it or not.

If you then felt you were getting nowhere then of course you might ask the local MP to approach the Minister responsible, or even approach the Minister directly.

Laucke's are big boys, they know full well how the system works when it comes to accessing government money, and not just for rail projects.

But if you go running to the press, or the Minister, with the bullsh!t story above, then don't expect to get very far.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
3 x weekly trains into the milling plant and they would not return a phone call.
Time to contact news journalists and Jacinta Allan....
Carnot

Looking at bridgewater on google maps have the silos in the yard been upgraded they look newish.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The aforementionted Minister for Transport Infrastructure has reportedly refused to entertain re-opening Inglewood / Inglewood even though it would allow two daily trains to run on each of the Manangatng & Sea Lake lines, allow the Ultima Intermodal train a far shorter direct route to Melbourne via Bendigo, pick up 100 export containers a week from Bridgewater, plus it appears other traffics ex Bridgewater as well.

Apparently  VLP object in that they think it will stuff up their future 40 minute Off Peak Bendigo frequency.  This is  B/S in that we are talking 2 - 3 max return freight trains a day via this route which would all run overnight or late evening without impacting on passenger services.  Finally the Melbourne - Eaglehawk pass service could also be extended to Marong population 8,000 by 2028.
  emmastreet Chief Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
Laucke should perhaps write to anyone who owns a fleet of A doubles (or whatever the big trucks are called).
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The aforementionted Minister for Transport Infrastructure has reportedly refused to entertain re-opening Inglewood / Inglewood even though it would allow two daily trains to run on each of the Manangatng & Sea Lake lines, allow the Ultima Intermodal train a far shorter direct route to Melbourne via Bendigo, pick up 100 export containers a week from Bridgewater, plus it appears other traffics ex Bridgewater as well.

Apparently  VLP object in that they think it will stuff up their future 40 minute Off Peak Bendigo frequency.  This is  B/S in that we are talking 2 - 3 max return freight trains a day via this route which would all run overnight or late evening without impacting on passenger services.  Finally the Melbourne - Eaglehawk pass service could also be extended to Marong population 8,000 by 2028.

Laucke should perhaps write to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne and request a meeting in parallel with the the other forwarders at Bridgewater (2 - 3 generating 100 export containers a week).
kuldalai
Waste of a stamp on one hand and a waste of space on the other so far as the two MPs are concerned.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It's obvious that VLP have too much control and are acting as 'blockers' - ie. Prioritising passenger rail over freight at every opportunity.

There needs to be a restructure...
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

3 x weekly trains into the milling plant and they would not return a phone call.
freightgate
Freightgate please see  private message posted Sat 05/03/2022  2105
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
If accurately reported, not entirely surprising. The current government does seem very metro focused, and vline are not given anything resembling a decent maintenance budget for some of these lines.

Rail Revival Alliance, whatever you think of them, last year proposed the line could be re-commissioned for, as i recall as i cant find their post, 8 weeks work and less than $10m. may have been closer to $5m. Either way, seems like a bargain, especially if it could see multiple trains per day, and improve efficiency in the network.

Weather an accurate perception, i do get the feeling the department tells the minister what to do rather than the other way around, given the relevant minister's seat is in Bendigo, although not where the majority of the line runs, Rippon, a Liberal held seat.
  historian Chief Commissioner

A perfect example of the bind modern rail freight is in.

The proposal is for the state to spend $5 - $10 million on rehabilitating the line (assuming those figures are accurate). The only new traffic to be carried is from the mill. To gain the traffic the freight rate would have to be competitive with road haulage. The freight rate is paid to an operator, who must first cover their own costs (and profit). One of those costs is a fixed fee to V/Line for train movements which is made up of a flagfall and a ton/km rate.

  • What do you think V/Line's profit from the traffic would be?
  • Given that there is no other traffic on the line, do you think V/Line would even make a profit? (*)
  • How long do you think it would take to recoup the rehabilitation costs out of the profit (if any) from that traffic?
  • What do you think the risk is that a trucking company would undercut the rail freight rate and the traffic would be quickly lost?

Based on the answers to these questions, do you think it makes business sense to rehabilitate the line?

Particularly since the state is already funding the maintenance of the road network, and the marginal increase in maintenance costs of the road network for this traffic is nothing.

There are several fundametal problems.
  • The universal application of a business/economic framework to decide how government should act. There is no consideration of broad issues - for example external costs that are not captured in conventional economic models.
  • The vertical fragmentation of the rail industry.
  • There are so few freight users of the rail network that the marginal cost of using the network for each of them is actually very high (in this case it is 100%). This is a massive change since even the '60s and '70s where the network costs were shared between many users, or even on some rail routes today where costs are shared with passenger traffic.
  • "What the market will bear" is as true for transportation today as it ever was. Freight rates by rail are constrained by the rates smaller, very nimble, road trucking firms can offer. Conversely, if the milling company had a firm price from a rail operator, this merely sets the ceiling price that the competitive trucking firms have to meet.

(*) For those that respond "you could divert traffic from via Dunolly," you are ignoring that this simply shares the access fees over two routes ensuring that neither are profitable (or, more likely, increases the loss on the other route).
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Laucke should perhaps write to anyone who owns a fleet of A doubles (or whatever the big trucks are called).
emmastreet
I don't think Laucke would need to contact any transport companies, there fairly well rehearsed in the trucking game. They have been around a long time with a great deal of success.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/103533263@N07/32062284987

https://www.flickr.com/photos/37494672@N06/6781164698

https://www.facebook.com/LauckeMillsStockfeeds/photos/1956742971128094

They run a large fleet of trucks in many different combinations.

BigShunter.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The aforementionted Minister for Transport Infrastructure has reportedly refused to entertain re-opening Inglewood / Inglewood even though it would allow two daily trains to run on each of the Manangatng & Sea Lake lines, allow the Ultima Intermodal train a far shorter direct route to Melbourne via Bendigo, pick up 100 export containers a week from Bridgewater, plus it appears other traffics ex Bridgewater as well.
kuldalai

And why is the minister so keen to stop business developing a rail service you might ask?

I also want to know the answer to this question.
  Tony M. Junior Train Controller

It may be a bit cynical, but in these situations it often seems like the attempt to utilise rail is at least as much about bringing in a competitor to try and force their preferred option - road - down in price as it is any real effort to put products on trains
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Business around Bendigo should be dead simple for SSR who have crews and a depot there.  Grain in and around the area is not new to the SSR team add some intermodal for good measure so why are the government blocking this?
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Business around Bendigo should be dead simple for SSR who have crews and a depot there.  Grain in and around the area is not new to the SSR team add some intermodal for good measure so why are the government blocking this?
bevans

SSR doesn't have the locos and rolling stock, and probably not the crews either. So someone needs to cross their palms with silver and some medium to long term haulage contracts to motivate them to invest. Plus there's probably better returns on investment in other traffics on the SG.

So the government may not be blocking anything?

Which Regional Development authority is responsible for this area? If all this traffic is available have they made any submissions to government?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Business around Bendigo should be dead simple for SSR who have crews and a depot there.  Grain in and around the area is not new to the SSR team add some intermodal for good measure so why are the government blocking this?

SSR doesn't have the locos and rolling stock, and probably not the crews either. So someone needs to cross their palms with silver and some medium to long term haulage contracts to motivate them to invest. Plus there's probably better returns on investment in other traffics on the SG.

So the government may not be blocking anything?

Which Regional Development authority is responsible for this area? If all this traffic is available have they made any submissions to government?
bingley hall
Perhaps this is something "Development Victoria" could get involved in, although they tend to focus on single site projects and not railway upgrades.

SSR have been expanding within Victoria and hiring new staff, and at least they have their BG facility nearby.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

A perfect example of the bind modern rail freight is in.

The proposal is for the state to spend $5 - $10 million on rehabilitating the line (assuming those figures are accurate). The only new traffic to be carried is from the mill. To gain the traffic the freight rate would have to be competitive with road haulage. The freight rate is paid to an operator, who must first cover their own costs (and profit). One of those costs is a fixed fee to V/Line for train movements which is made up of a flagfall and a ton/km rate.

  • What do you think V/Line's profit from the traffic would be?
  • Given that there is no other traffic on the line, do you think V/Line would even make a profit? (*)
  • How long do you think it would take to recoup the rehabilitation costs out of the profit (if any) from that traffic?
  • What do you think the risk is that a trucking company would undercut the rail freight rate and the traffic would be quickly lost?

Based on the answers to these questions, do you think it makes business sense to rehabilitate the line?

Particularly since the state is already funding the maintenance of the road network, and the marginal increase in maintenance costs of the road network for this traffic is nothing.

There are several fundametal problems.
  • The universal application of a business/economic framework to decide how government should act. There is no consideration of broad issues - for example external costs that are not captured in conventional economic models.
  • The vertical fragmentation of the rail industry.
  • There are so few freight users of the rail network that the marginal cost of using the network for each of them is actually very high (in this case it is 100%). This is a massive change since even the '60s and '70s where the network costs were shared between many users, or even on some rail routes today where costs are shared with passenger traffic.
  • "What the market will bear" is as true for transportation today as it ever was. Freight rates by rail are constrained by the rates smaller, very nimble, road trucking firms can offer. Conversely, if the milling company had a firm price from a rail operator, this merely sets the ceiling price that the competitive trucking firms have to meet.

(*) For those that respond "you could divert traffic from via Dunolly," you are ignoring that this simply shares the access fees over two routes ensuring that neither are profitable (or, more likely, increases the loss on the other route).
historian
I wish people would read properly multiple previous posts on the merits of re-activating the Inglewood - Eafglehawk line .
- Allows 2 grain trains a day to operate off both the Manangatang & Sea Lake lines .
- 100 export containers a week ex Bridgewater would move to rail attached to the existing overnight Ultima Intermodal train.
- Suggested 3 shipments a week outward traffic ex Laucke at Bridgewater
- Extension Melbourne - Eaglehawk pax services to Marong , population to be 8,000 by 2028.
- With Inglewood - Eaglehawk re-activated South bound bg graintrains run overnight via Bendigo, and empty Downs return via Maryborough. In that way there are NO bg grain crosses between North Geelong and Inglewood, plus frees up some existing train paths through the Dunolly - Maryborough section for sg trains off the Mildura Line.  Re-activating Inglewood  Eaglehawk is an absolute no-brainer.
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

If VLine don't want to run via Bendigo because of timetabling issues, what are the issues/required to repair the washed out section and the track to Bridgewater and running via Inglewood?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

If VLine don't want to run via Bendigo because of timetabling issues, what are the issues/required to repair the washed out section and the track to Bridgewater and running via Inglewood?
Inland_Sailor
That's been discussed ad-finitum over the past couple of years.

The main items:
- 1km of new track bed, sleepers, ballast, and rail near Bridgewater.
- Sleeper and tie renewal (1 in 3 at a minimum).
- Reinstate Turn-out at Inglewood junction.
- Usual culvert and drainage repairs and tidy-up.

Spur line, Signaling and LX crossing work at Bridgewater required too I imagine to access mill safely.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If VLine don't want to run via Bendigo because of timetabling issues, what are the issues/required to repair the washed out section and the track to Bridgewater and running via Inglewood?
That's been discussed ad-finitum over the past couple of years.

The main items:
- 1km of new track bed, sleepers, ballast, and rail near Bridgewater.
- Sleeper and tie renewal (1 in 3 at a minimum).
- Reinstate Turn-out at Inglewood junction.
- Usual culvert and drainage repairs and tidy-up.

Spur line, Signaling and LX crossing work at Bridgewater required too I imagine to access mill safely.
Carnot

The line to the Mill looks intact but may need some sleeper work in the Bridgewater Yard.
  historian Chief Commissioner

I wish people would read properly multiple previous posts on the merits of re-activating the Inglewood - Eafglehawk line .
- Allows 2 grain trains a day to operate off both the Manangatang & Sea Lake lines .
- 100 export containers a week ex Bridgewater would move to rail attached to the existing overnight Ultima Intermodal train.
- Suggested 3 shipments a week outward traffic ex Laucke at Bridgewater
- Extension Melbourne - Eaglehawk pax services to Marong , population to be 8,000 by 2028.
- With Inglewood - Eaglehawk re-activated South bound bg graintrains run overnight via Bendigo, and empty Downs return via Maryborough. In that way there are NO bg grain crosses between North Geelong and Inglewood, plus frees up some existing train paths through the Dunolly - Maryborough section for sg trains off the Mildura Line.  Re-activating Inglewood  Eaglehawk is an absolute no-brainer.
kuldalai

Yeah, I did read your post properly. I appreciate that you are focussing on the bigger picture, and are pointing out the longer term benefits to Victoria in reopening. I just didn't think your post reflected the structural business reality facing V/Line. My post was trying to point that unless you change the ground rules of the business case, reopening will go nowhere.

V/Line gets revenue from freight services by the access charge. The access fees they receive from traffic on the Down side of Inglewood will not change if they reopen Eaglehawk - Inglewood; but that money will now need to cover the maintenance of two routes. V/Line will go backwards in financial terms.

So all of your points about traffic on the Down side of Inglewood are actually a *disincentive* in V/Line's terms to reopening. They might benefit Victoria; they might benefit the operating companies; but the way the rail industry has been set up there is *no* incentive to V/Line or the government to reopen the line. Their incentive is to focus traffic on the minimum mileage and infrastructure.

Consequently, the only positive aspect in the business case is the new traffic from Bridgewater. I'd suspect the traffic's too small and too much at risk of undercutting by the road industry to justify the risk of the government investing the money to reopen.

The answer, IMO, is to focus on the industry structure to better align business incentives with the needs of the state. Because they certainly aren't aligned at the moment. Or change government thinking to consider the rail network in the same way they consider the road network - as a framework in which business activity occurs and for which the question of profit and loss is irrelevant.
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic


The answer, IMO, is to focus on the industry structure to better align business incentives with the needs of the state. Because they certainly aren't aligned at the moment. Or change government thinking to consider the rail network in the same way they consider the road network - as a framework in which business activity occurs and for which the question of profit and loss is irrelevant.
historian
Now there's a radical concept. Rolling Eyes

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans

Display from: