Tookayerta (Loxton) & Pinnaroo lines to close

 
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Hi all,

This morning on a Facebook page, someone mentioned that these two lines will be closing by mid-May (next month), as Viterra no longer wants trains hauling grain over these lines for unknown reasons. SadSad

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  trainznbuses Train Controller

Location: Seacliff Park, SA
*Citation required (not Facebook)
  Party Junior Train Controller

Location: Within the Margin of Error
Viterra is not the only grain handler who uses these lines - Cargill/AWB GrainFlow have a site at Pinnaroo that is designed for rapid loading of trains.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Viterra is not the only grain handler who uses these lines - Cargill/AWB GrainFlow have a site at Pinnaroo that is designed for rapid loading of trains.
Party


thks for clearing this issue up. i was surprised when i read this. ahh facebook.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There Is no doubt that these branch lines have been run Into the ground, with trains limping along at speeds of around 20 km/h.

In the meantime the Highway system Is going from strength strength, with new bypasses.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
There Is no doubt that these branch lines have been run Into the ground, with trains limping along at speeds of around 20 km/h.

In the meantime the Highway system Is going from strength strength, with new bypasses.
"Nightfire"


The Mallee lines have been very low speed for years now

New Bypasses on the Mallee Hwy???? Now that I'd like to see!!!!!
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
New Bypasses
Pressman

Port Adelaide I was more thinking of
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Port Adelaide I was more thinking of
"Nightfire"

Grain trucks (and all other trucks) still have to negotiate the metro roads!
The Grain export terminal is North West of city, Mallee grain trucks enter the metro area from the South East of the city (Glen Osmond)
The New South Road Motorway is only through the Regency Park area.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Trucks from the northern Mallee area (i.e. anywhere further on than Karoonda) heading to Port Adelaide all use the Sturt Highway these days, thanks to the new Northern Expressway and Port River Expressway roads bypassing Main North Road and Grand Junction Road. It's ~40 kilometres longer for trucks heading from Alawoona (35km south of Loxton) but it's a much more truck-friendly route than the SE Freeway which is far more hilly and includes a long stop-start trek across the metro area.

... as Viterra no longer wants trains hauling grain over these lines for unknown reasons. SadSad
"greasyrhys"
GWA is more the issue than Viterra in that sour relationship, they are basically behaving in the same way as a painter who'll give a ridiculously high quote as a way of trying not to get a small job they don't want to do. If GWA were not doing their absolute best to make trucks attractive to grain customers they don't want then those customers would not be switching to road haulage!
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

The Loxton line, especially from Alawoona to Tookayerta, is obviously challenging as it seems to go over sandhills rather than through any form of cutting. Can anyone lead me to photos of trains in this area?
What is the status of the sand mine?
  Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere
Track speed on the lines was 50km/h except for Alawoona to Loxton which was 30km/h and from Parilla to Pinnaroo which was 40km/h for empty and 30km/h for loaded trains.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Rail seems to pull a lot of grain over those lines.  Would be surpised
  waynes Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
Do trains still access the border on the line to Ouyen?

Is this still accessible to rail grain?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Do trains still access the border on the line to Ouyen?

Is this still accessible to rail grain?
waynes

As I recall from another thread on this topic the standard gauge finishes at the border - so no.

If the Mildura line ever went to standard gauge then there might be an opportunity to get an upgrade/rebuilding as an alternative route for ARTC trains (though admittedly much longer than the existing route).
  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
On good authority, I've been told that all the FACTS including a quote from GWA itself, will form part of a major article in the next Catch Point.....available from your nearest Newsagent....or NOT!Shocked
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
“Do trains still access the border on the line to Ouyen?

Is this still accessible to rail grain?
"waynes"

As I recall from another thread on this topic the standard gauge finishes at the border - so no.

If the Mildura line ever went to standard gauge then there might be an opportunity to get an upgrade/rebuilding as an alternative route for ARTC trains (though admittedly much longer than the existing route).
"don_dunstan"

A few BG grain trains where once loaded on the short remaining section of BG track between the border level crossing and the AWB? Loading bin east of Pinnaroo.
The trains were loaded via mobile augers.
The movement required the locos to run-around at the last siding on the Vic side (Panitya), then push back to the loading point.
AFAIR you could count the number of these trains on ONE hand!
And I believe that nothing at all has ventured west of Ouyen in the last few years.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

If the Mildura line ever went to standard gauge then there might be an opportunity to get an upgrade/rebuilding as an alternative route for ARTC trains (though admittedly much longer than the existing route).
"don_dunstan"
When it was broad gauge the whole way, this route was used for Adelaide-Melbourne trains while the mainline from Tailem Bend to Ararat was closed for rebuilding to standard gauge.

It would probably only become useful again at a later date in the unlikely event of interstate road freight ever being properly regulated. The existing Adelaide-Melbourne rail route would be instantly flooded with rolling highway trains which may get to the point of justifying uni-directional operation with eastbound trains going via Pinnaroo and westbound trains going via Bordertown as a permanent measure or at least until the mainline could be duplicated. Having the rolling highway terminals at Tailem Bend and Ballarat would suit this perfectly - the pinch points closer to the major cities would not get choked by rolling highway trains, and the trucks would be able to disperse from those terminals to where they need to go instead of riding the train all the way to inner suburban terminals.

The chance of road freight getting properly regulated is close to nil of course, that would require both major political parties to stop accepting donations/influence from the industry and possibly require an amendment to the Constitution to make it legal.
  Party Junior Train Controller

Location: Within the Margin of Error
On good authority, I've been told that all the FACTS including a quote from GWA itself, . . .


If it were GWA making thisannouncement, rather than Viterra as stated in the opening post, it would make more sense as GWA lease/own these lines and they could choose to stop running trains on them.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
If it were GWA making thisannouncement, rather than Viterra as stated in the opening post, it would make more sense as GWA lease/own these lines and they could choose to stop running trains on them.
Party


i am confused.  what is the announcement?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The chance of road freight getting properly regulated is close to nil of course, that would require both major political parties to stop accepting donations/influence from the industry and possibly require an amendment to the Constitution to make it legal.
justapassenger

Alan Scott famously used his power to threaten the SA government on multiple occasions when they tried to up the charges for very heavy haulage. The fact that some of the richest individuals in Australia made their money out of trucking goes to show how profitable it is; I wouldn't doubt a High Court challenge to any attempts to properly charge for road damage caused by extremely heavy road haulage across the network.

However we do have a situation now where there are also powerful private companies involved in delivering rail services simultaneously demanding 21st century improvements to the system so at least there's some proper advocacy for rail happening now-days.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

A successful approach to increasing the use of high speed rail in Europe has included encouraging airlines to invest in the system and set up codesharing agreements - when they have a stake in its success they'll be less interested in taking it down.

Swap that over to Australia where rail is all about freight instead of passengers, and the obvious outcome is that we should be trying to make the path smooth for truck companies to get their business onto rail - carrots as well as sticks.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It would probably only become useful again at a later date in the unlikely event of interstate road freight ever being properly regulated. The existing Adelaide-Melbourne rail route would be instantly flooded with rolling highway trains which may get to the point of justifying uni-directional operation with eastbound trains going via Pinnaroo and westbound trains going via Bordertown as a permanent measure or at least until the mainline could be duplicated. Having the rolling highway terminals at Tailem Bend and Ballarat would suit this perfectly - the pinch points closer to the major cities would not get choked by rolling highway trains, and the trucks would be able to disperse from those terminals to where they need to go instead of riding the train all the way to inner suburban terminals.
justapassenger

Running Inter capital city trains via the Mallee would be very slow going, the cost of upgrading the Mallee lines to mainline standards and maintaining them (to that standard) would be unmanageable.

The best the Mallee line could do (when all of them are SG) Is provide a back up detour route (more direct than via Goobang Junction)
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Oh yes, I know it would require a major upgrade to be of much use - but there's the possibility that might be more viable for handling a major increase in traffic than duplicating the entire mainline route, or it may at least be useful as a diversion route while the mainline is duplicated and electrified for continued use in a post-oil energy situation.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Having multiple options to path a train could be useful for all sorts of reasons: Flood or accident cutting the main line, track-work, etc. If the track was relatively flat (as it would be between Tailem Bend-Ouyen-Ballarat) then the extra distance doesn't matter so much - according to my rough estimations it would be 630km via Ouyen versus 520km from Ballarat to Tailem so there's only an extra 110km via the northern route.
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
The Victorian Side of the line is now booked out of service west of Murrayville.

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