Oakey Beef Exports on track to switch from road to rail freight

 

News article: Oakey Beef Exports on track to switch from road to rail freight

A southern Queensland meat processor says it is on track to make the switch from road to rail freight.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
"We've got a target of where we want to be getting through 1,600 plus [head of cattle] per day and the logistics and transport has been a major cost."
Somebody


This is a lot of cattle coming via rail and in terms of numbers how many wagons per day would that equate to?

Are there plans to use rail outbound from the facility?

Oakey Beef Exports on track to switch from road to rail freight

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW

Are there plans to use rail outbound from the facility?
x31

Are there any operators on NG that would be looking to chase these smallish volumes? Ie consolidate them into train viable loads?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
This is a follow up to an original thread posted by Sulla1 when the company at one stage was endeavouring to secure funds for rehabilitating rail access at their site.   That was recently funded by the State Govt.   This announcement is in effect a reconfirmation by the company that funding of the siding upgrade and connection in tamdem with their own multi million dollar plant upgrade would lead to increased volumes for rail.

As far as operators go, this is an opportunity perhaps to do something a bit more lateral thinking with the Westlander.   Adding 10 or 15 container flats a week each way would easily accommodate the task and provide some supplementary revenue for QR.  Yes freight is not the province normally of QR but its ridiculous having a 3 car little used passenger train running as it is when some added value can be arranged.  Yes a shunt is involved but the timetable is so slack and yes there are terminal arrangements to manage at the Brisbane end but not insurmountable.  A case of going back to the past when vans and container flats were operated on these trains when QR was a vertically integrated railway.  This model would be similar to SCT vans travelling on Aurizon services.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I like the thinking.

I guess we would need to know where the containers are destined?  If for the port, it might be a challenge to take them off and have another loco run it out the line which may add cost.

The other thing to consider is the shipping schedules.  Will a weekly service be enough to let them meet the ships?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This is a follow up to an original thread posted by Sulla1 when the company at one stage was endeavouring to secure funds for rehabilitating rail access at their site.   That was recently funded by the State Govt.   This announcement is in effect a reconfirmation by the company that funding of the siding upgrade and connection in tamdem with their own multi million dollar plant upgrade would lead to increased volumes for rail.

As far as operators go, this is an opportunity perhaps to do something a bit more lateral thinking with the Westlander.   Adding 10 or 15 container flats a week each way would easily accommodate the task and provide some supplementary revenue for QR.  Yes freight is not the province normally of QR but its ridiculous having a 3 car little used passenger train running as it is when some added value can be arranged.  Yes a shunt is involved but the timetable is so slack and yes there are terminal arrangements to manage at the Brisbane end but not insurmountable.  A case of going back to the past when vans and container flats were operated on these trains when QR was a vertically integrated railway.  This model would be similar to SCT vans travelling on Aurizon services.
Trainplanner
Should be more of this type of lateral thinking and 'mixed' train type of operation.
Let the 'nay sayers' begin.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
The good thing about the Westlander attach option is that you're offering the client a guaranteed schedule that is consistent all year round.   Even the Brisbane terminal arrangement could be managed in a couple of different ways.   You could arrange a single loco port link shuttle or depot shuttle taking the block off and attaching to the pax consist at Roma Street.    Or you could given the low frequency and long turnround run the entire consist on to a depot and then bring the train engine and passenger cars back to Mayne Depot.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
@Sulla1 how many wagons per day would it take to deliver 1600 head of cattle?
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
@Sulla1 how many wagons per day would it take to deliver 1600 head of cattle?
x31
In the old days (wooden wagons) we used to allow an average of 27 head per K wagon. I'm unsure of the capacity of the current wagons, but probably similar. That would make approximately 60 wagons per day.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Where are the loading points for these cattle?
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Where are the loading points for these cattle?
james.au
I would expect Western, Central and North Queensland. Someone else will know more detailed locations.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Just to be clear my Westland attach option was targeted at shipping the containerised processed products and perhaps any other input to the plant that could come from the coast.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Just to be clear my Westland attach option was targeted at shipping the containerised processed products and perhaps any other input to the plant that could come from the coast
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In the old days (wooden wagons) we used to allow an average of 27 head per K wagon. I'm unsure of the capacity of the current wagons, but probably similar. That would make approximately 60 wagons per day.
Graham4405

60 wagons per day would be two trains or one?
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
In the old days (wooden wagons) we used to allow an average of 27 head per K wagon. I'm unsure of the capacity of the current wagons, but probably similar. That would make approximately 60 wagons per day.

60 wagons per day would be two trains or one?
bevans
Probably two on the Western Line.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

From memory the KOJX wagons (the backbone of the cattle fleet) carry 36 head, so the standard 45 wagon train would deliver 1620 head to the facility. I'm guessing around three 45 wagon sets would be needed if the plant went to 100% rail delivery. Current container out put would be the equivalent of two 25 wagon train a week, but that doesn't take in the expansion of the slaughter rates. Up to four 25 wagons trains a week (or two fifty wagon trains) would be needed if rail won the container traffic.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Those rates of production on the container side should be viable for rail you would expect which is why perhaps the company does see a strong potential for rail.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Are there existing intermodal/freight trains running on that line during the week the loading could be attached/detached?
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Are there existing intermodal/freight trains running on that line during the week the loading could be attached/detached?
bevans
No container/freight trains at present. Only traffic is coal, grain, ballast/work trains and twice weekly Westlander.  Containers could return once tunnel floor lowering project is completed.  I haven't seen containerised cotton out of Dalby for quite a while but this would be one potential returning customer. Other potential would be containerised grain to port. There are a number of grain accumulators that operate in the general area but not on railhead by and large.

5915
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
AFAIK no.   Hence the initial suggestion of using something like attaching to the Westander until such time as volumes build up and then you run a dedicated freighter.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Why not attached to a grain service?

Freight is freight.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Why not attached to a grain service?

Freight is freight.
bevans
Grain like coal runs in block trains. This tends to be a world wide approach even in developing countries so I would hesitate to say there is a better way. Additionally the western line trains are so short by modern standards there isn't much option to just add it on to the end.

By and large, mixed services are a thing of the past everywhere. Again there are very good and numerous reasons for this and how many operators does it take to make this valid? The Westie lost its mixed status with QT stopped subsidising freight by rail, nothing to do vertical anything, privatisation etc etc

However as we all have noticed the Westie is 2 x week and short and maybe perhaps there is an opportunity, but would having 1000t of freight wagons with their sloppy couplers on the train make it less comfortable for the passengers. The down side of course once you get to BRisbane what do you do? You cannot run this train to Roma Street!

I would suggest if the meat wagons can store the meat, it would need to run dedicated trains to port direct (lowest cost) and/or once the tunnel work is done and containers are again rolling, its a shunt from Toowoomba to collect the wagons and run a full length block container train down the range for frequently with others products.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
RTT thanks.  I think that's why any possibility of using the Westlander would only be for a period until tonneages justify their own dedicated freighter.   As far as train handling etc goes Westrail were running 900 tonne mixed passenger freighters for years with the passenger cars triling and the train handling etc was quite genuinely superb.   I'm not sure what the drawgear and design capacity of the stainless steel cars are now on the Westie but as a fairly modern vehicle designed to ANZR standards you'd imagine it would be reasonably high.   Twenty five container flats is 50 boxes and at twice per week that's 100 boxes of output which is what what the company is speaking off.   You could trail the freight block so its detached outside the central Brisbane area and have it picked up by a light engine for the short haul leg.   PN and SCT are doing this everyday in Melbourne for the SCT Brisbane traffic being attached to Aurizon and Sadleirs with their van traffic out of Spotswood.   Yes I know its lateral thinking.  In a similar vein FreightLink/GWA were forwarding a 5 pack container rake between Melbourne and Adelaide for onforwarding to Darwin for quite sometime.

Its a case I suppose of having the will and of course is their a buck to be made in doing it.   It is an area for examination under a freight facilitation scheme similar to the UK model.   But I only through it out there to draw some discussion.

It would be interesting to know what the road costs are for transporting 100 empty and 100 loaded boxes to/from Brisbane and the works would be.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

I would suggest if the meat wagons can store the meat, it would need to run dedicated trains to port direct (lowest cost) and/or once the tunnel work is done and containers are again rolling, its a shunt from Toowoomba to collect the wagons and run a full length block container train down the range for frequently with others products.
RTT_Rules

Can I ask what freight services are available out of Toowoomba?  30kms or so between Oakey and Toowoomba should be doable?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

There are no freight services out of Toowoomba, just bulk grain and coal passing through. The container traffic Oakey could generate should sustain a dedicated container service.

In other news Aurizon and Bothwicks (Mackay) have announced a new cattle delivery contract today (outside of the existing QLD Transport contract) to run up to 325 trains a year to the Bothwicks abattoir south of Mackay at Bakers Creek. These meatworks haven't had rail deliveries for more than a decade, however Aurizon negotiated with QR to restore the rail siding and conduct a trial cattle shipment a fortnight ago. Bothwicks already rails containerised meat 940km from Mackay on Aurizon's 8844 freight to Fisherman Islands.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
1.  Sounds like the contraction in the mining market is encouraging operators to look for other freight options.  The market works it seems..

2. Sounds also like there could be an opportunity for an intermodal operator to begin working in the Toowoomba area - initialy on NG and then transitioning to SG once Inland Rail goes through.

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