To remove a physically closed railway, is an Act of Parliament needed first?

 
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The other reason is the NSW parliament doesn't do private member's bills for some reason unknown to me.

The cost (to taxpayer) of a typical piece of legislation is ~$500k (so I've heard, can't remember where), so it's all but impossible for the local member to get a local constituency community project that requires state legislation off the ground.


The law is the reason the rails and steel bridges are still there.  Even the lightest lines have non-trivial scrap value.
"djf01"


Better let the NSW parliament know that private member bills aren't done then. They didn't get the memo

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/FactSheetNo37?open&refnavid=x

And some of the private members bills introduced in 2012

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/nswbills.nsf/Search?SearchView&query=((privateflag%20=%20y)%20or%20(privateflag%20=%20private))AND([YEAR]=(2012))&searchorder=4

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  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Better let the NSW parliament know that private member bills aren't done then. They didn't get the memo

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/FactSheetNo37?open&refnavid=x

And some of the private members bills introduced in 2012

https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/nswbills.nsf/Search?SearchView&query=((privateflag%20=%20y)%20or%20(privateflag%20=%20private))AND([YEAR]=(2012))&searchorder=4
seb2351

Bills
Your search for "((PRIVATEFLAG = Y) OR (PRIVATEFLAG = PRIVATE)" returned NO bills.

???

Happy to be proved wrong though
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Bills
Your search for "((PRIVATEFLAG = Y) OR (PRIVATEFLAG = PRIVATE)" returned NO bills.

???

Happy to be proved wrong though
djf01

The link that triggers the search is getting mashed somehow.  [url=https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/nswbills.nsf/Search?SearchView&query=(([privateflag] = y) or ([privateflag] = private))AND([YEAR]=(2012))&searchorder=4]Have another go[/url] or roll the search yourself.

Timber bridges wouldn't have a great deal of scrap value.  Steel ones might, but then there might be issues such as heritage lurking in the background, potential re-use of the asset for other purposes, etc.

I also wouldn't surprise me to find that the account that receives the value of the scrap isn't necessarily in the same organisation that manages the asset.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Bills
Your search for "((PRIVATEFLAG = Y) OR (PRIVATEFLAG = PRIVATE)" returned NO bills.

???

Happy to be proved wrong though
djf01

OK, got it now....  Checked the list of bills and it included this one:

http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/nswbills.nsf/0/557F380F7198E7DBCA257B1800096185

Pregnancy Termination (Information About Pain to Child in Utero) Bill 2013


  • Member with Carriage: Nile, Fred

  • Notice of Motion: Wed 20 Feb 2013



They all start in the upper house, and none of them seem to get passed.

IIRC the mechanism for PMBs is there, but the lower house doesn't allocate any time to read/debate them.  I looked at this a few years ago for this very subject, to see what it would take to get a rail trail proposal up.  The answer was move to Victoria.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The Camden, Taralga and Batlow-Kunama branches were closed by a specific Act of Parliament.
hunslet1915


Does Her Majesty the Queen (or G-G) ever come and close any unused railways?
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Does Her Majesty the Queen (or G-G) ever come and close any unused railways?
awsgc24

No. As per the Australian Constitution the Head Of State has no legal power to put laws in place since 1901.
  steelwheels Station Staff

Conversely, what if (hypothetically) I was independently wealthy and in possession of my own rollingstock and I had done some numbers and was willing to pay for the relevant accreditation to operate a regular passenger service without ongoing subsidy on a disused line with commuter potential (say Cooma - Queanbeyan)? If I was to lease and pay maintain the line, how far would the state government be obligated to support my venture? I know RMS would likely be required to reinstate the level crossings, but what about replacing bridges? What about the folk who live adjacent to the line and allow their livestock to roam freely on the corridor? Would they be required to pay for fencing? As the owner of the station properties, would the government be obligated to upgrade Cooma station to allow disabled access, etc or is it likely I would have to erect my own platforms which are compliant with modern legislation?
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
I doubt the Governement will pay one cent to restore the rail.

An example currently exists for the Molong-Orange line.

The Alkane project south of Dubbo had proposed options to transport the raw material out. One by road and one by rail. The rail option requires Alkane to come up with $30m to have the section of line from Dubbo south put back to 'usable'.

Irrelevant that RTA and Councils have covered over the level crossings, and the state-owned bridges will have to be repaired, it is a user-pays system.

If the mine goes ahead, Alkane have indicated they opted for the cheaper road option....

I would ask if Alkane did put the line back in operational condition, then later someone else wanted to move grain or passengers, I am sure Alkane won't receive any compensation for putting the line back.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I would ask if Alkane did put the line back in operational condition, then later someone else wanted to move grain or passengers, I am sure Alkane won't receive any compensation for putting the line back.
Jim K

I wouldn't be so sure.  It depends on the specific access arrangement, but typically once revenue on the line gets beyond a certain point, rebates or some sort of similar cost return would be due to the anchor user.

I also think that if you went to government with a proposal that covered a significant percentage of the costs of reopening and then operating the line, they may still come to the party depending on the likelihood of other users, the perceived social benefit from the line and the perceived ability of the proponent to pay.

After all... cost recovery for track access for the NSW grain system is something like 2.5%, so if someone walked in and said "I'll pay for 80% of the line" or whatever that is going to look, relatively, pretty decent.

I've just spent some time reading the transport related parts of the Alkane EIS, and some of the responses.  It doesn't look like they have made a decision about the ultimate transport solution yet, and may not for some time (there is some suggestion in their EIS response that the rail option is looking reasonable at this stage).  The "$30 million" (which might only be $20 million - which I suspect is why the rail option is looking reasonable) represents a pretty significant upgrade of the line.  That amount excludes a requirement by transport for NSW for a grade separated crossing of the Mitchell Highway... for an estimated one train of 26 wagons a day!  I fell off my chair...

Some of the issues raised by the various councils also made me laugh.  I guess throwing a few ambit claims into the ring is all part of the fun.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
What happened to the supposed re opening of the Cowra line, which ostensibly was going to be based on this exact idea.
Line leased to a private company who then had to foot the entire bill to reopen the line.
Havnt heard a word about this since October last year.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
One way of closing railways officially is to have a general Railways (Closure) Act, which allows separate lines to be closed by Regulations which are tabled in Parliament. Regulations, which can be voided by either house of Parliament, take up less Parliamentary time that having a closure Bill for each line to be closed.
  Albert Chief Commissioner

Conversely, what if (hypothetically) I was independently wealthy and in possession of my own rollingstock and I had done some numbers and was willing to pay for the relevant accreditation to operate a regular passenger service without ongoing subsidy on a disused line with commuter potential (say Cooma - Queanbeyan)? If I was to lease and pay maintain the line, how far would the state government be obligated to support my venture? I know RMS would likely be required to reinstate the level crossings, but what about replacing bridges? What about the folk who live adjacent to the line and allow their livestock to roam freely on the corridor? Would they be required to pay for fencing? As the owner of the station properties, would the government be obligated to upgrade Cooma station to allow disabled access, etc or is it likely I would have to erect my own platforms which are compliant with modern legislation?
steelwheels

The way it is currently structured, you will be solely responsible for the track and operations with in your leased area.  That would include the perway, bridges, level crossings, stations facilities and stock on the line.
  Westby3026 Locomotive Driver

The westby branch was closed, pulled up and then officially closed by an AOP. I'm currently refencing a boundary that nswgr put up after they lifted a stockstop, fence posts are reclaimed sleepers, many years old

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