Community takes fight for rail to the Supreme Court
Rail corridor between Glenfield and Macarthur earmarked for medium density
Rail Trail boost to tourism - and local economy
Newcastle rail case may be long wait
Save Our Rail questions semantics argument over rail line cut
North West Rail Link corridor to extend through to Marsden Park
Camurra West to Weemelah Line Booked Out of Use
Rail Trail full steam ahead
John Holland Commissions Electronic Train Orders
Closure of Newcastle rail stations not technically a closure of whole line, State Government lawyer says
Coal trains leaving Ulan for Newcastle may roll through Mudgee, Rylstone and Kandos to Mt Piper, reversing the latest downgrading of the line, if George Souris proves right in his forecast of things to come.
A government Green Paper decision to focus on coal for power could keep the rail line humming between local mines and Mt Piper Power Station.
That is how Member for Upper Hunter George Souris says he would place his bet on the future of the rail line through Mudgee, Rylstone and Kandos which has been the point of much conjecture in recent weeks.
Mr Souris acknowledges he slipped up in Parliament last week during question time when, demanding to know why the Lithgow/Mudgee rail line speed limit had been reduced from 60km/h to 20km/h, he spoke of new coal mines opening and expanding north of Mudgee and said:
"One or other of those coal mines will win part of the contract to supply to Mount Piper or to Wallerawang, or, as has been mooted, the new baseload power station and perhaps the construction of the second, duplication stage of the Mount Piper power station."
When asked about this statement by the Mudgee Guardian, Mr Souris said he "hoped" this was so but had only been speculating in his question. He went on, however, to say: "If I had a bet on the next baseload power station, it will be the completion of Mt Piper."
Mr Souris explained that NSW is at full capacity use of electricity and is having to buy power from Queensland and Victoria to cope.
A Government Green Paper is presently investigating whether future power needs will be provided by coal, natural gas or nuclear energy. It is Mr Souris' bet the answer will be coal, and, "one or other of those [Ulan/ Wollar] mines will win a contract if Mr Piper is extended", he said.
The White Paper will be out by the end of this year, just weeks away.
Mr Souris said there are three contenders for a new coal fired power station: Macquarie Generation at Bayswater, a new power station at Ulan mooted by Leighton Holdings, and Mt Piper.
Leighton Holdings is the same company building tunnels and roads for Sydney, among many other huge business dealings, so the power station idea for Ulan comes from an organisation with substantial influence.
Mr Souris said the reason his bet lies with Mt Piper is that Mt Piper was originally designed to have four power generation units, twice its present size, and the space is there ready and waiting for the two present units to be duplicated - easy and uncomplicated.
Delta Electricity corporation relations manager Ray Madden, speaking for Mt Piper, confirmed the company has been investigating options for supplying base load power and one of those options was to extend Mt Piper to its original design of four units.
Mr Madden said Delta had put forward a number of options to the Green Paper.
But the company is not putting its eggs all in one baskets and is also working on environmental impacts for a number of gas fired plants in NSW.
Mr Madden said if the Mt Piper puts a coal tender out, obviously the new Ulan/ Wollar mines would be considered.
Mr Souris said if one of the local coal mines wins a contract with Mt Piper, the rail line linking Lithgow to Gulgong through Kandos, Rylstone and Mudgee line would be fixed post haste.
"They won't be able to use the road [for coal trucks]," he said.
Mr Souris also said if new Mudgee abattoir owner Roger Fletcher needs to use rail to export beef, then the line is likely to be up and going no matter what else is happening at the moment.
"Roger is brilliant at getting the government to do what he needs done," Mr Souris said.
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 © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.