Partial privatisation studies included in DB restructuring
The Next Federal Election and Passenger and Freight Rail
Transport and Logistics symposium to gauge railway link
Rail gets another CRC. Third time lucky?
Chinese high speed rail should confine the XPT to history
Hendy heads to NR
Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
This year's bumper wheat harvest has exposed a lack of investment in rail infrastructure, with the NSW Government lifting a long-standing curfew on grain truck deliveries, even though it will add millions of dollars to handling costs.
GrainCorp says rail is no longer capable of adequately servicing Port Kembla terminal's grain export program, which now has approval to receive grain by road around the clock, as well as more than double the volume, from 200,000 tonnes to 500,000 tonnes, and more in exceptional circumstances.
GrainCorp says since the NSW Government relinquished its rail monopoly freight capacity has decreased with fewer grain wagons, lines closures and long lead times building new lines.
Without a shift from rail to road, GrainCorp was concerned grain exports could be lost to other ports because farmers believed that their grain would not be processed in time to meet shipping deadlines.
The approval is despite objections from residents concerned about increased road traffic, pollution and noise.
Professor Philip Laird of the University of Wollongong calculated one million tonnes a year of grain moving from rail to road to Port Kembla would cost an extra $10million. Greenhouse emissions would increase by 200,000t annually.
He said silos at West Wyalong and Stockinbingal were designed to load trains quickly, at 800t an hour, including trains going to Melbourne, which would be a cheaper option than going by road to Port Kembla. Australasian Railway Association chief executive Bryan Nye said investment had grown for coal and iron ore haulage.
''But we have not invested in regional rail, particularly on the east coast, for over 50 years.''
Mr Nye said one of Australia's main challenges was countering the pricing differential between road and rail transport, not just for grain.
''We've been arguing for some time for the need to optimise rail networks, otherwise more freight will go on the road - and nobody wants that,'' he said.
''We are not anti-trucking, but it's madness that between Sydney and Melbourne only 5 per cent of the freight goes by rail and the rest goes by truck.''
He said one train pulling 55 hoppers equated to 110 trucks using roads, and would use less fuel.
Grain belt shire councils have been campaigning for an old spur line to be re-opened through Cowra, Young, Harden and Yass.
In a submission opposing the lifting of restrictions at Port Kembla, Weddin Shire said GrainCorp operated a 50,000t grain silo at Greenethorpe, near Young, which had traditionally been cleared by rail.
''In recent years however the haulage has been contracted to road hauliers who travel from Greenethorpe via Young and Yass to Port Kembla for export purposes.
''This increased heavy traffic has caused considerable road damage, especially when carried out in winter when the roadside is wet and the road formation weaker.''
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.