Inland railway Melbourne - Brisbane

 
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
OK - time to put this back to bed for another year.  WinkWinkWink

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  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

OK - time to put this back to bed for another year.  WinkWinkWink
"cootanee"


Yes, indeed!  Laughing
  colinw_mk2 Station Master, Kippa-Ring

Ok - Queenslander perspective here.

I am dubious about the merits of the inland standard gauge line as opposed to upgrading the NSW North Coast Line and providing dedicated freight trackage through Sydney.  I am not against the inland, line, rather the inland rail line is what I consider a "nice to have" secondary route, not a national priority.  It would be insane to build it while leaving the current Sydney - Brisbane line as it is.

IMHO the first priorities should be fixing the southern & northern approaches to Sydney for freight, then targeted improvements on both Sydney - Brisbane and Sydney - Melbourne to make freight more competitive on the key East Coast corridor.

The other problem I have with the inland line is that it seems to be a case of QLD putting its hand out for a huge Federal (or private) subsidy to make up for 100+ years of under investment.  Realistically, QLD should have invested in a major upgrade or new range crossing as long ago as 1910, instead the line remains basically as opened in 1867, bar the signalling & track standard.  Therefore, I feel that it falls upon the QLD Government and QR to come up with a significant part of the funding to fix the huge deficiencies of the line west of Rosewood.  

Intra-state traffic will be the major beneficiary of the line if built.  In recent years - due to coal - the tonnage flowing via Toowoomba has exceeded that on the QLD North Coast Line via Nambour, even through a series of drought years where grain traffic died off to nothing.  The number of trains traversing the Toowoomba Range each day peaks at around 30 in grain season - many more than I would expect to traverse the whole line Melbourne - Brisbane if built.

The inland line would also bring Moree a lot closer to the Port of Brisbane than Newcastle by rail, again benefiting QLD to NSW's detriment.

Finally the new line would allow westward extension of CityTrain interurban trains (standard gauge DMUs?), hopefully to Toowoomba but at least to Laidley & Gatton.  Another state-specific benefit.

If the inland line is built, QLD therefore should pay a fair part of the cost as it will be primarily a QR upgrade of the Western & South Western system.

The national priority should remain freight upgrades along the East Coast corridor and in particular in Sydney.

cheers,
Colin
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yes I agree , coal dollars are going to drive things in that direction up there .
I think even Everald worked out that coal dollars are the only ones that will count .
  8603 Locomotive Driver

Location: Canberra
Reading the results of the First Stage Results of the study on the ARTC website, I was very surprised to read the travel time for this route between Melbourne and Brisbane would be similar to the existing route through Sydney even after the upgrades were complete. Surely this finding stands out.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
I dont understand why people think that an inland railway would be in any budget.
The Federal Govt have NEVER indicated that they would fund such a railway.
Only that they would facilitate its construction by the private sector, by conducting feasability studies etc,and liasing with the States to allow such a line to be privately built.
Mt Crompton and his consortium are supposed to be building it with private money, not the Feds.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think the writing is on the wall , as the existing route improves it gets harder and harder to justify the money for an inland route .

This rubbish about Parkes being the demographic center of Australia is exactly that - rubbish .
It's pretty obvious that whilever road transport can move freight quickly between Melbourne or Brisbane and Parks that's what will happen - for east west freight .

You serve more people in eastern Australia by using the existing corridor particularly if the bottlenecks are removed .
This is where the volume of freight and economies of scale can work for rail , remember rail companies are businesses seeking to make money not go joyriding .

If you could pick Everard's brain I reckon you'd see dollars not this "visionary" railway it appears he likes to project .
Dabbling in coal railways now isn't he ?  Dollars .
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner


This rubbish about Parkes being the demographic center of Australia is exactly that - rubbish .  
"BDA"


It actually is not rubbish...well it WASN'T at one time. The demographic centre was around Parkes, NSW but is gradually moving northwards as the population of Qld increases.

However, what probably IS rubbish is that being the demographic centre is in any way a useful statistic. It was a marketing scheme cooked up by FCL Transport, NSW State Gov't and Parkes Shire. In theory, it was bleedin' obvious and a great concept. But, it could only ever work if there was a giant shift in the thinking of the supply chain industry.


It's pretty obvious that whilever road transport can move freight quickly between Melbourne or Brisbane and Parks that's what will happen - for east west freight .
"BDA"


The concept could only come to fruition with a mainline standard railway from Brisbane/Gladstone to Melbourne. The modelling that we did at FCL was to initially use road for Brisbane to Parkes, Sydney to Parkes, Melbourne to Parkes.

Then, as volumes grew, Melbourne to Parkes would shift to rail, then Brisbane to Parkes.

Sydney to Parkes was always assumed to be a road linehaul.

Parkes would then become the big intermodal changeover point.

Unfortunately, we all woke up from our wet dream!!!



If you could pick Everard's brain I reckon you'd see dollars not this "visionary" railway it appears he likes to project .
Dabbling in coal railways now isn't he ?  Dollars .
"BDA"

Everald has big visions....maybe they've been trimmed back a bit now!!
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
Agree with you up to a point BDA. However, there are a few things I would say in support of an inland route.

- Much of the the Victorian section is likely to be the same tracks as Mel-Syd anyway.
- It would also facilitate running Syd-Bris via Werris Creek (or thereabouts), giving an alternative (possibly easier to make faster) N-S route.
- It's likely to be able to pick up a greater market share from road for the long Mel-Bris run. The distance and time (without the hassle of transiting Syd) is better suited to rail, so it should perform much better than M-S or S-B, though probably not as good as east-west to Perth.  So while the market size is undoubtedly less, rail operators might actually end up making more by gaining a large share of a small market that returns better margins.

Having said all that, if it does happen I hope it's not so fast as to distract attention from the needed fixes to the coastal route.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to show that simply building a railway line
automatically picks up market share from road.
Melb - Sydney, Sydney - Brisbane and Melb - Adelaide are all perfectly good railway lines, but all have been losing market share from road since the late 1970s.
What determines the competetivness of rail vs road is cost, in $ per tonne.
The only 2 railway lines that have picked up market share from road are
Adelaide - Perth and Adelaide - Darwin, both lines with very few grades.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner


What determines the competetivness of rail vs road is cost, in $ per tonne.
"MD"


It is NOT!

There are many factors involved. This has been pointed out to you before.


The only 2 railway lines that have picked up market share from road are
Adelaide - Perth and Adelaide - Darwin, both lines with very few grades.
"MD"


There are many other routes where rail has picked up market share.[/b]
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to show that simply building a railway line
automatically picks up market share from road.
Melb - Sydney, Sydney - Brisbane and Melb - Adelaide are all perfectly good railway lines, but all have been losing market share from road since the late 1970s.
What determines the competetivness of rail vs road is cost, in $ per tonne.
The only 2 railway lines that have picked up market share from road are
Adelaide - Perth and Adelaide - Darwin, both lines with very few grades.
"MD"


Will have to respectfully disagree with you there.

It is not only cost but the things like amenity to the customer that determine market share. Plenty of businesses have done far better than their competition by targeting all the things the customers want rather than just trying to be the cheapest.

If I, as a commercial customer, need to have my goods leave late in the afternoon from my facility in Melbourne and reliably arrive next morning at my customer's facility in Sydney, then I will pay (at least marginally) more for a transport mode that will achieve that outcome.

The key to Syd-Mel market share for rail is to reduce the transit time so that reliable door to door next day delivery happens the vast majority of the time. At the moment, it doesn't, so the goods go by truck. When highways were poor rail had little competition; but it has mostly stood still, while road got its act together. Rail picks up the less time critical stuff, but misses out on the big overnight market. The track is simply still not up to the task. However it is possible to improve it enough for it to become competitive; hence concrete sleepers, more passing loops, the SSFL et al.

Over longer routes the advantages of road transport decline; the door to door delivery time becomes much of a muchness and begins to favour rail. Hence the massive market share of rail from the east to Perth. A Mel-Bris line would obviously not be as long as the run to Perth, but it may be long enough to favour the economics and amenity of rail over road for most of the market.

Of course, it's not simply a matter of 'build a railway line and it will take market share from road' and nothing of a kind was suggested by me. It needs to be a carefully considered business proposition using the best known information about relevant market behaviour. The ultimate question for those concerned is 'All things considered, will such a line realistically be likely to turn a better overall profit than just running it all from Mel to Bris via Syd'.
  davidr2105 Locomotive Driver

To make the east coast line faster on of the first things I would do is to straighten out the main south line near Moss Vale
  StudleyLush Junior Train Controller

Good idea, except a good chunk of the main south, south of Goulburn, needs straightening to gain an appreciable time saving, not to mention a new line from the defunct Maldon-Dombarton line junction direct to either Bargo or Yerrinbool
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Another study just released that has some relevance to the debate over role of rail in this part of the world...

http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/aa/releases/2009/May/aa166_2009.htm
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane

The only 2 railway lines that have picked up market share from road are
Adelaide - Perth and Adelaide - Darwin, both lines with very few grades.
"MD"


There are many other routes where rail has picked up market share.
"ParkesHub"

I'm not sure which ones have picked up market share over the last 20 years besides Perth-X and Darwin-X.  Or are you talking about the uptick since ARTC was formed?

I think the writing is on the wall , as the existing route improves it gets harder and harder to justify the money for an inland route .
"BDA"

This point I strongly agree with.  The only way I could support an inland route is if it could be established that no reasonable investment would allow rail to compete with road Syd-Mel.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
To make the east coast line faster on of the first things I would do is to straighten out the main south line near Moss Vale
"davidr2105"


I wouldn't , the the first things you need to do is get guaranteed access to Sydney's goods roads/terminals in the allocated City Rail areas ie Dungog to North Strathfield and Joppa Jct to Sefton Park Jct .
RailCorpses curfews do far more damage than the twist windies and 1 in 40 grades .
The second stumbling block is limited crossing locations in which to hide from the Country Link untouchables .

None of the big three deviations down south will do you much good if you can't get past Moss Vale or Glenfield Loop .

The North out of Sydney gets worse all the time , Moron Corp keeps dropping the loco hauled train speed boards and in some places they are around half what the DMU and EMU speed boards allow .
I think it's about time the loco hauled train operators got legal with this deliberate sabotage on Rail Corps part . They have some lunatic that computer models loco hauled trains braking performance - but it's all modelled on a 4500T coal train and ship wit can't be told - we've tried .
Short light loco hauled train slothing along at 35 Km/h on the down main from short of Adamstown station to virtually Broadmeadow station .
  StudleyLush Junior Train Controller

Hopefully the SSFL will get the freights into Sydney.  However the north is a real problem.
Re the speed limits, is the clown modelling this stuff acting under instruction or just a buffoon?
If under instruction then it could be seen as a form of sabotage, if not then it is just plain incompetence leading to loss of revenue  Either way the freight operators could probably start a legal challenge for lost revenue.  The thing that leads to despair in NSW is that you cannot turn to anyone in politics or the bureau who is prepared to take on these issues.
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Looking at recent posts, it is obvious that North Sydney Freight is a major bottleneck for through trains and that a clear route will cost gigabucks.
Let us not forget that the Inland Route also serves Adelaide-Brisbane, Perth- Brisbane and possible Mel, Ade and Per to the Hunter region.
While the recession has hit the rate of growth of freight between Mel and Qld, it is still growing. We are also struggling to find truckies for long haul like Mel Bris and most will retire in the next 10 years. Look ahead 20 years and the railway may well be necessary to meet demand.
The other alternative is sea and with port upgrades and poor surface service, that may well be an arractive alternative for some traffic.
WW
  davidr2105 Locomotive Driver

I think it's about time the loco hauled train operators got legal with this deliberate sabotage on Rail Corps part . They have some lunatic that computer models loco hauled trains braking performance - but it's all modelled on a 4500T coal train and ship wit can't be told - we've tried .  
Short light loco hauled train slothing along at 35 Km/h on the down main from short of Adamstown station to virtually Broadmeadow station .[/quote]
Well its about time that the Train operators ( that is all of them) started to negotiate with Rail Corp and the message is not to give up and wear them down.
There are plenty of other places that need to be straighten out and although I don't see it happening in the forseeable future, I don't understand why the North Coast Line should go from Maitland all the way out to Gloucester and then back towards the coast at Taree, it should go from around Maitland straight to Taree. Granted there is a hill just south of Taree, but a way around could be found as its mainly forest there.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
I would suggest that you won’t see any progress on an inland railway for at least 30 years. More likely is continued mega$ highway upgrades with even heavier B triples and road trains allowed.

ARTC has made its submission to Infrastructure Australia with seemingly sound analysis and a total cost below that of an inland railway. Even so I doubt much will happen in the timeline put forward.  Rolling Eyes

Remember it took 2 decades for a relatively straightforward thing like the SSFL to proceed and not a sod has been turned on the NSFC proposals. Both have much higher strategic significance.

Don't forget the funding. Troll thru Federal rail spending announcements since ARTC was formed, then look at budget expenditure to see what was actually spent  Surprised  and then answer the question who will pay  Question
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
According to the LAND newspaper of 11 June 2009, p20, a consortium of 20 councils want the Inland Railway to take a flatter, straighter and faster route than that recommended by a %15m Federal study.

The ARTC proposal follows mostly existing lines via Albury, Cootamundra, Parkes, Narromine, Dubbo, Werris Creek, Moree and Toowoomba.

The alternate route would be further inland, and require more new construction.
  ButFli Chief Train Controller

Location: New Farm, Qld
a consortium of 20 councils want the Inland Railway to take a flatter, straighter and faster route
"awsgc24"
I'd be trusting a consortium of 20 councils. Councils that have nothing to lose from the higher construction costs and everything to gain from having a railway through their part of the world.  Rolling Eyes

In other news, a consortium of 1 Railpage members wants a railway built outside ButFli's house.
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

Forget the Werris Creek, Moree, Toowoomba route. Even with a new (and very expensive) SG line across the border, Toowoomba will be a major bottleneck for a long time to come.

Instead, upgrade Werris Creek to Tenterfield (approx 340 km), and build a new line from Tenterfield to Casino (approx 140 km) - the first 20 km for this route from Casino has already been surveyed a good many decades ago. Then use the existing line to Acacia Ridge.

It has been said that Acacia Ridge may reach saturation point within ten years. If this proves to be the case, then restore the Casino to Murwillumbah line (approx 130 km), extend it to Coolangatta (approx 20 km), and establish an air/rail/road freight interchange terminal adjacent to the airport. This will take the pressure off Acacia Ridge, and also open up freight access to the Gold Coast and NSW far north coast areas, already areas of very high growth rate (and with a highway full of large trucks).

This would be a lot less expensive and a lot easier than ARTC’s projected route to Toowoomba, and would alleviate the need for a very difficult line from Toowoomba to Brisbane.

(And a new survey of part of the route might even take it near Butfli’s house?)
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
...
It has been said that Acacia Ridge may reach saturation point within ten years. If this is the case, then restore the Casino to Murwillumbah line, extend it to Coolangatta (approx 20 km), and establish an air/rail/road freight interchange terminal adjacent to the airport. This will take the pressure off Acacia Ridge, and also open up freight access to the Gold Coast and NSW far north coast areas, already areas of very high growth rate (and with a highway full of large trucks).
...
"Xgentric"


In the NS rail study, Bromelton and Parkinson are talked about as an terminal locations which could take pressure of Acacia Ridge. They also sit on the existing route.

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