Joyce: secure inland rail money first, then debate route

 

News article: Joyce: secure inland rail money first, then debate route

The Federal Agriculture Minister has given short thrift to the push to change the proposed inland rail route through the Riverina.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The Federal Agriculture Minister has given short thrift to the push to change the proposed inland rail route through the Riverina.

The Brisbane to Melbourne freight route is proposed to go via Wagga Wagga and Albury.

Councils from Narrandera to Shepparton say it should be further west.
Joyce: secure inland rail money first, then debate route


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Cannot see the route changing.  What is preventing the MIA using the current network and the propose route?  What precludes them from using the inland rail when built?

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  a6et Minister for Railways

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Cannot see the route changing.  What is preventing the MIA using the current network and the propose route?  What precludes them from using the inland rail when built?
x31
I would say there is a push from those who are promoting the route to run through Shepparton, which is a fair food producing plant there, the area in NSW if a straight line was built would mean it passing through some very productive growing areas, both in seasonal crops along with fruit & vegetables & the like.

The line would likely head through Tocumwal & perhaps a rebuild & some re-routing of the line toward Narranderra - West Wyalong & onto the Parkes line.

While there is merit in it, the generally accepted route through Albury is a cheaper option by far, & will serve the needs well, while in certain areas its a fair distance between these lines which would more than likely be too far to an inland rail service location.  As it stands I doubt if the Inland Rail would be wanting to have a shunting train across the line as more & more towns & locations want to use it IF, there is a stop in their backyard.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
I would say there is a push from those who are promoting the route to run through Shepparton, which is a fair food producing plant there, the area in NSW if a straight line was built would mean it passing through some very productive growing areas, both in seasonal crops along with fruit & vegetables & the like.

The line would likely head through Tocumwal & perhaps a rebuild & some re-routing of the line toward Narranderra - West Wyalong & onto the Parkes line.

While there is merit in it, the generally accepted route through Albury is a cheaper option by far, & will serve the needs well, while in certain areas its a fair distance between these lines which would more than likely be too far to an inland rail service location.  As it stands I doubt if the Inland Rail would be wanting to have a shunting train across the line as more & more towns & locations want to use it IF, there is a stop in their backyard.
a6et

In some ways the councils are right.  The produce is coming from areas west of Albury and the current line to Wagga Wagga. Therefore if the line is built to current alignment nothing much changes for the MIA.  Business as usual.

But what does not change is rail access around Naranderra which there is significant demand already.  There is merit in the proposal with an alternative being the re-opening of some lines in the MIA to accommodate growth.

If over $1b has been invested in the MIA over the past few years and that sounds reasonable why has infrastructure investment in rail fallen behind?

Rail for transport to port is clearly the first choice of the industry in the MIA.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
This is all about the southern portion of the route. The ARTC's alignment basically uses the Melbourne-Sydney line until it reaches Illabo, where it goes onto a new line to reach Stockinbingal, bypassing the Bethungra Spiral. Then it takes the Stockinbingal-Parkes line to reach Parkes.

It's a cute way of saving costs - the Illabo deviation has been planned for yonks as a way of reducing grades (and hence fuel costs) for Sydney- and West-bound traffic originating on the Melbourne-Sydney line. Many of the upgrades to existing track between Illabo and Melbourne are happening regardless of whether Inland Rail goes ahead. This makes sense for the ARTC, because they want to focus on the Northern portion of the route, which will require much more capex.

What does it mean for the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area? Well, the ARTC route completely bypasses it, so they have to make do with the existing network of lines instead. The Melbourne-Shepparton-Tocumwal-Narranderra-Caragabal-Parkes alignment is in fact shorter from Melbourne to Parkes than the ARTC's route and could capture more new traffic, but it has a lot of extra capex that they can't shift elsewhere!

MIA growers can still use Inland Rail to get to Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane - it just doesn't shorten the trip unless they want to get to Brisbane.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
My point also addressed the existing network which is available in the MIA however it could be expanded to deal with the discussions over cotton traffic to Melbourne.  There is also a need outside of Inland Rail (if the project bypasses the MIA) to reinvigorate the existing networks to cater for demand.

It is a shame in this day and age of renewable energy pushes the inland route is not being electrified to worlds standards like most other countries.  All that cheap power from the hydro electric scheme.
  a6et Minister for Railways

My point also addressed the existing network which is available in the MIA however it could be expanded to deal with the discussions over cotton traffic to Melbourne.  There is also a need outside of Inland Rail (if the project bypasses the MIA) to reinvigorate the existing networks to cater for demand.

It is a shame in this day and age of renewable energy pushes the inland route is not being electrified to worlds standards like most other countries.  All that cheap power from the hydro electric scheme.
x31
What is needed for any of the needs to be met is pretty simple & that is the business community to hit the air waves & every other means of making a noise, to say that they want rail access in the region, & the want it as they want to use it.  Sadly the combined Council powers along with Businesses who put their names up to support the reopening of the Harden - Blayney line seems to have fallen on deaf ears in the governments.

There was discussion on the thread here https://www.railpage.com.au/f-po-quote-1982130.htm about how the area around Narranderra has huge potential, thus all of what is said there & the various stories that started that thread & this one shows what traffic is available to rail, therefore to have any hope even with the shouting & publicity I mention above is to have a freight company prepared to put their hand up to say they will haul it.

At the moment, I do not see any of the private operators really interested in anything more than they are doing now.

If there was that much traffic say out of even Shepperton, faced with the amount of track rebuilding through the Riverina to connect with the Inland rail somewhere in NSW & likely have to be somewhere on the Coota - Parkes section anyway, it would likely be a heck of a lot cheaper to build a line to Albury & connect from there, likewise any from the Griffith = Leeton area can come across to Junee to connect.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
My point also addressed the existing network which is available in the MIA however it could be expanded to deal with the discussions over cotton traffic to Melbourne.  There is also a need outside of Inland Rail (if the project bypasses the MIA) to reinvigorate the existing networks to cater for demand.
x31
Sure, there is definitely a need for better rail freight access in the MIA. It just looks like it's beyond the scope of Inland Rail at this stage. This submission from Narrandera Shire is a good primer on the potential of even a rebuild of the Narrandera-Tocumwal line along with gauge conversion of the Tocumwal-Mangalore Line (Goulburn Valley Line).

Of course, there's little reason that the NSW or Victorian State Governments would cough up money - we're talking about freight headed towards the Ports of Melbourne & Geelong but most of the upgrade work happening in NSW. Might be an opportunity for those state governments to palm off those lines to the ARTC though!

It is a shame in this day and age of renewable energy pushes the inland route is not being electrified to worlds standards like most other countries.  All that cheap power from the hydro electric scheme.
x31
There is no more 'cheap hydro power' in Eastern Australia. There's barely any extra capacity left in the Snowy Hydro scheme, and today the scheme isn't a massive player in the National Electricity Market by itself - the NEM is dominated by coal plants. Hydro is used today for peaking power, not baseload. Furthermore, considering that the states haven't even managed to electrify the Melbourne-Sydney line (or NSW's Hunter Valley coal lines, for that matter) I find it highly unlikely that the Inland Railway will be electrified.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Sure, there is definitely a need for better rail freight access in the MIA. It just looks like it's beyond the scope of Inland Rail at this stage. This submission from Narrandera Shire is a good primer on the potential of even a rebuild of the Narrandera-Tocumwal line along with gauge conversion of the Tocumwal-Mangalore Line (Goulburn Valley Line).

Of course, there's little reason that the NSW or Victorian State Governments would cough up money - we're talking about freight headed towards the Ports of Melbourne & Geelong but most of the upgrade work happening in NSW. Might be an opportunity for those state governments to palm off those lines to the ARTC though!
LancedDendrite

This would be a project for ARTC.  It is the role of that organisation to undertaken national building projects like the re-birth of the Tocumwal to Narranderra Line whic is obviously need.  I am really still perplexed why there needs to be cross border issues when it comes to freight.  Growers need to get their produce to markets.  That is that.
  Burkey Station Master

The inland rail was always meant to be inland and was always meant to go through Shepparton Tocumwal and Narrandera. Right from AIRE and the Everald Compton proposal the route was truly inland and that's the way it should go.
This government should just stop stuffing around and let NTR build the line.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
To me, this desire from the Shepparton to Narrandera corridor LGAs is all about connecting to Melbourne/Geelong, not so much about the connection north to Brisbane.  Is this about right?  They really need to get the focus on that and not look like they are out in the wilderness of impossibility by banging on about doing it in the Inland Rail and trying to get the impossible.  Why not form (with this NTR group if they like) a consortium and do it themselves?  

Also, what is missing from this otherwise useful report is some sort of demand analysis showing what the benefit would be, i.e. how many tonnes would use it, diversion from roads, etc etc.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
The inland rail was always meant to be inland and was always meant to go through Shepparton Tocumwal and Narrandera. Right from AIRE and the Everald Compton proposal the route was truly inland and that's the way it should go.
This government should just stop stuffing around and let NTR build the line.
"Burkey"


Maybe it makes more sense to have a staged construction whereby the initial Inland Rail route can go via Junee and Albury which requires minimal upgrade of existing routes; and then a later stage could go via Shepparton and Narrandera which would require the recommissioning and upgrade of the Tocumwal to Narrandera section and the gauge conversion of Tocumwal to Mangalore.

Ross
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
The inland rail was always meant to be inland and was always meant to go through Shepparton Tocumwal and Narrandera. Right from AIRE and the Everald Compton proposal the route was truly inland and that's the way it should go.
This government should just stop stuffing around and let NTR build the line.
Burkey

This makes perfect sense for the growers.  Now I understand why they are unhappy with the ARTC plan.

The government are stuffing around.  Australia is becoming a country with governments who just sit on their hands.

Who is NTR?

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Subscribers: a6et, james.au, NSWGR8022, x31

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