Taskforce hears case for new rail terminals

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 04 Feb 2016 17:59
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If the train goes to Maitland, why would you waste time to run the train to Brisbane when there is a port at Newcastle. This is very much about getting NSW exports into NSW ports hands and from Tamworth the train to Newcaslte is extremely viable. About the same distance by train to Newcastle as it is to Brisbane by road.
If a freight train from Tamworth to Newcastle is extremely viable, then why isn't there one already? A shiny new intermodal terminal isn't going to change the cost structure that much.

And if NSW exports have to go via NSW ports I think its high time we introduced passport controls at the border.
bingley hall

The coal industry has dominated the rail lines in this area is why. If you didn't have coal then no freight trains and so everything got put onto trucks.

Improvements and efficiencies in the hunter rail network is opening up new opportunities that were not there for freight before. To bring these rail opportunities requires building new intermodals as there are no intermodal facilities to take advantage of rail in these towns. Building these new facilities will provide the ability to use rail once again and a side effect will be removing trucks from our roads and hopefully reducing the road toll.

Keeping goods in NSW ports means more money for NSW to fix the roads which Victorian, South Australian and Brisbane trucks have destroyed.

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  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Freight is going to move where the market wants it too, if the rail lines don't go where the freight is moving then it goes by road. If freight movement is trending towards the Port of Brisbane - and if that's the primary reason why New England rail services to Newcastle or Sydney have stopped - then attempting to reinstate rail services to ports New England freight customers don't want to use is almost certainly not going to work. Maybe a Tamworth to Brisbane freight service (via Maitland) is an option the industry would prefer.
If the train goes to Maitland, why would you waste time to run the train to Brisbane when there is a port at Newcastle. This is very much about getting NSW exports into NSW ports hands and from Tamworth the train to Newcaslte is extremely viable. About the same distance by train to Newcastle as it is to Brisbane by road.
simstrain
Because, for whatever reason, the freight producers/consumers in the New England region have an apparent preference to the port of Brisbane rather than Newcastle. State Governments and Railpagers might think borders are important for the direction freight takes, but freight doesn't seem to think so...it moves where it needs to go, not where we think it should go. Tamworth is 281km from Newcastle and is 572km from Brisbane, so the choice of preferred port is not necessarily driven by which port is closer. There are containers railed 1341km from Townsville to Brisbane for export, while other containers are exported and imported directly through the Port of Townsville - it just depends on what's in them and which shipping company or international port they're heading to.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
and which shipping company or international port they're heading to.
Sulla1
To expand on this a bit if I may Sulla, its important to note that rail is just one part of the transport process.  Perhaps the shippers that operate out of Townsville don't go to where your stuff needs to go to, or use a smaller higher cost ship.  The ships in Brisbane might be bigger and have lower cost and go where the freight needs to go to.  So railing to Brisbane from Townsville makes lots of sense in this situation.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The coal industry has dominated the rail lines in this area is why. If you didn't have coal then no freight trains and so everything got put onto trucks.

Improvements and efficiencies in the hunter rail network is opening up new opportunities that were not there for freight before. To bring these rail opportunities requires building new intermodals as there are no intermodal facilities to take advantage of rail in these towns. Building these new facilities will provide the ability to use rail once again and a side effect will be removing trucks from our roads and hopefully reducing the road toll.

Keeping goods in NSW ports means more money for NSW to fix the roads which Victorian, South Australian and Brisbane trucks have destroyed.
simstrain
As I said before be sure to bring your passport for a check at the border. The global economy is here whether you like it or not, parochial drivel such as this belong in the 20th century.

As for the comments regarding freight and coal trains in the Hunter that is absolute nonsense.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

In the Townsville case Hamburg Sud and P&O choose to rail export containers to Brisbane, mostly to better suit their more frequent shipping schedules out of Brisbane, but also because reefer containers weren't exported through Townsville until recently. Patricks handles a large amount of the containers going through Townsville Port too, which may not suit P&O. I suspect the choices made to use Newcastle or Brisbane would be for similar shipping or port handling reasons.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Agreed.  Newcastle is not known for being a big container port, so there probably are less ships calling there.  Bris on the other hand is one of the main container ports for Aus.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
My dad tells me when you ship OS you can pay for milk runs via multiple ports or you can pay slightly more and go direct, faster, less delays, less damage. Hence small container ports in recent decades have pretty much dried up as they just don't have the choice and frequency of shipping.

The longer your goods are in a box, the longer it is before your customer pays you, so time is money.

From what I can see on containers, Newcastle barely rates a mention on the Aussie port stats.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


From what I can see on containers, Newcastle barely rates a mention on the Aussie port stats.
RTT_Rules

Does Newcastle actually have the facilities to lift containers to and from ships?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Newcastle doesn't have a dedicated container terminal although one is proposed for the old BHP site. The port handled around 10,000 containers last year - barely a blip compared to other container ports on the East Coast.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
If the train goes to Maitland, why would you waste time to run the train to Brisbane when there is a port at Newcastle. This is very much about getting NSW exports into NSW ports hands and from Tamworth the train to Newcaslte is extremely viable. About the same distance by train to Newcastle as it is to Brisbane by road.
If a freight train from Tamworth to Newcastle is extremely viable, then why isn't there one already? A shiny new intermodal terminal isn't going to change the cost structure that much.

And if NSW exports have to go via NSW ports I think its high time we introduced passport controls at the border.

The coal industry has dominated the rail lines in this area is why. If you didn't have coal then no freight trains and so everything got put onto trucks.
simstrain
Complete rubbish.  Simple inspection shows that there is a variety of freight other than coal on those lines.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Newcastle doesn't have a dedicated container terminal although one is proposed for the old BHP site. The port handled around 10,000 containers last year - barely a blip compared to other container ports on the East Coast.
Sulla1
Never happen, why would you export out of Newcastle with Sydney/Botany just down the road. If they rail from T'ville to Brisbane to get better shipping costs, then 200km is nothing.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Newcastle doesn't have a dedicated container terminal although one is proposed for the old BHP site. The port handled around 10,000 containers last year - barely a blip compared to other container ports on the East Coast.
Never happen, why would you export out of Newcastle with Sydney/Botany just down the road. If they rail from T'ville to Brisbane to get better shipping costs, then 200km is nothing.
RTT_Rules
Do some reading here to see that Newcastle Port does more then coal. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle_Port_Corporation

There are issues with curfews on the passenger rail network is why you don't send it 200km's south to Port Botany. The BHP site has access to rail and getting trains into Sydney from Newcastle is harder then getting it from Newcastle to Brisbane.
  j3z3z Beginner

@j3z3z - got any info on volumes of this freight, or at least what it is or who it's for??
james.au
Transport for NSW commissioned studies to investigate demand for transporting containerised cargo in regional NSW, these studies were conducted by PwC, with documents released in Sept last year, which can be found on the TFNSW website.

As for freight volumes, its anyones guess, but I would say with just containerised timber volumes, if operated correctly, there would be more than enough volume to run no less than 3x900m services per week.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yep I've seen those reports, but they don't give me much of a view on what is going north to Bris.  The Qld govt transport research docs don't give all that much detail either.

Im waiting on the New England Highway Corridor Strategy to come out, it might be more revealing.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Newcastle has a number of non-coal berths... doesnt mean they will actually generate non-coal work as it also depends on where shipping wants to be

http://www.newportcorp.com.au/client_images/1374609.pdf
  hnougher Beginner

Location: Closed portion of Main Northern Line
About the same distance by train to Newcastle as it is to Brisbane by road.
simstrain
Uralla advertises itself as the middle point.

Living between Armidale and Glen Innes I would estimate there is an average of one B-Double truck every 2 minutes on a normal weekday (given regular three in a row during day and a few less at night). Most of it looks like pass-through traffic. Almost all use the bypass at Armidale and I believe the same happens at Glen Innes.

Don't even think about what happens when floods close either the Pacific Highway, Newell Highway or even both. *rant* All I could see was the potential funding money disappearing into the large pothole every couple of meters. Idiots fix it like they do at lower altitudes which inevitably cracks between the -10deg, 35deg and stronger sun. *end rant* Only happens a few times on a non-drought year.

Road has been in good condition the last 18 months of drought like weather. Must be some surplus somewhere Wink
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Simstrain didn't see your reply before.

And yet despite all that most container freight is still Sydney bound due to shipping. Same happens everywhere. Most containers are ultimately routed via  major shipping hubs unless you have a special arrangement and can fill most of the ship or have like destination partners.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

If the rail infrastructure doesn't reflect the customers' needs - say, by running southwards instead of northwards - then road wins. The New England Highway is no doubt good evidence of that. The curious hypothetical for this thread was the quite serious investigations made by Queensland's Goss Government during 1994 and 1995 to connect with, and dual gauge, the North Star line into Moree. QR also undertook a study to narrow gauge the line south from Wallangara to Glen Innes (no, this is not a belated April Fools joke). We will never know, but introducing direct single gauge rail access to the Port of Brisbane from the New England and North West may have resulted in very different transport dynamics to those we see today...or not.

This proposal was also mentioned in the July 2007 report made by the Federal Standing Committee on Transport and Regional Services





  1. 2.62  The Committee commented that, while the long-term objective should be to consolidate and expand the standard gauge network, that should not exclude sensible extensions to the narrow gauge or dual gauge lines in both the passenger and freight systems. This would allow for such projects as the Gold Coast to Murwillumbah narrow gauge line, or the linking of Moree to Brisbane by the south west line with a narrow gauge extension to Moree, or a dual gauge link to the North South line.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What is also making sense for these terminals is the port at botany is now fully rail equiped and winning business the model works. To build more business you require a place to load and unload goods.

I am surprised in some way Brisbane port is not pushing harder for more container trains in and out of the port in the same manner botany is.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Long distance container services do run to the Brisbane Port, twelve to and from Rockhampton each week, and four (down from eight a few years ago) to and from Townsville. Brisbane's problems extend to increased container trade out of the Townsville Port, the clearance issues on the Toowoomba Range and the fact that most standard gauge containers arriving in Brisbane have already had the opportunity to use Port Botany if they were destined for export (and vice versa for imports).
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
If the rail infrastructure doesn't reflect the customers' needs - say, by running southwards instead of northwards - then road wins. The New England Highway is no doubt good evidence of that. The curious hypothetical for this thread was the quite serious investigations made by Queensland's Goss Government during 1994 and 1995 to connect with, and dual gauge, the North Star line into Moree. QR also undertook a study to narrow gauge the line south from Wallangara to Glen Innes (no, this is not a belated April Fools joke). We will never know, but introducing direct single gauge rail access to the Port of Brisbane from the New England and North West may have resulted in very different transport dynamics to those we see today...or not.

This proposal was also mentioned in the July 2007 report made by the Federal Standing Committee on Transport and Regional Services





  1. 2.62  The Committee commented that, while the long-term objective should be to consolidate and expand the standard gauge network, that should not exclude sensible extensions to the narrow gauge or dual gauge lines in both the passenger and freight systems. This would allow for such projects as the Gold Coast to Murwillumbah narrow gauge line, or the linking of Moree to Brisbane by the south west line with a narrow gauge extension to Moree, or a dual gauge link to the North South line.
Sulla1
Talking about connectivity with the New England and North West areas, I have recently been wondering that if there was consistent gauge (standard or narrow) wether the economies of scale of the cattle trains would be vastly improved, i.e., if the abattoirs at Toowoomba could rail in livestock from the southern Queensland, north west NSW and New England areas.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I agree, the cross border trade between NSW and Queensland would benefit from extending narrow gauge into existing standard gauge corridors into NSW (using dual gauge sleepers) to at least develop cross border rail freight business in the medium term. The current alternative of waiting for a standard gauge crossing of the Toowoomba Range is developing no business at all.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I agree, the cross border trade between NSW and Queensland would benefit from extending narrow gauge into existing standard gauge corridors into NSW (using dual gauge sleepers) to at least develop cross border rail freight business in the medium term. The current alternative of waiting for a standard gauge crossing of the Toowoomba Range is developing no business at all.
Sulla1
I doubt that anything will happen until Inland Rail comes that way and takes care of the crossing.
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
I agree, the cross border trade between NSW and Queensland would benefit from extending narrow gauge into existing standard gauge corridors into NSW (using dual gauge sleepers) to at least develop cross border rail freight business in the medium term. The current alternative of waiting for a standard gauge crossing of the Toowoomba Range is developing no business at all.
I doubt that anything will happen until Inland Rail comes that way and takes care of the crossing.
james.au
There is no justification for routing the Inland Rail link via Toowoomba, it will be at least 80+ kilometers longer that the alternative route via Warwick, an hour longer at least in transit times and add something like $1.00 per tonne to the cost of all freight.
The espoused purpose of building the Inland Rail Link is to take freight off the roads and the cost of construction via Toowoomba would be over $500.000.000.oo more than building the line via Warwick and Murphys Gap.
It is simply sheer stupidity to spend that much extra to construct a line that will cost more to operate, be slower in transit times and less competitive with road freight but then political mates have already purchased land in Toowoomba for an intermodal terminal.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

This waiting for someone else to build the Inland Link is the reason why regional cross border rail freight has stagnated (and whithered and died in most cases) on the NSW/QLD border since the ATEC line was mooted in 1994. The hypothetical nature of the Inland Rail link has allowed operators and infrastructure providers to sit around in thumb twiddling indifference for far too long. Okay, so there's no economic justification for the line until 2025...well, 2025 is now only nine years away. That means if the line is to be finished by 2025, a full funding commitment will need to be made during the next term of the Federal Government, which probably means it will have to promised during this year's election campaign. If such a commitment is not made, then the line is unlikely to be built by 2025 and in nine years time it is very likely those same rail operators and providers will still be sitting around thumb twiddling waiting for all that money to build the promised Inland Link they don't have to pay for. For rail freight to succeed in southern Queensland and Northern NSW, then smaller, cheaper infrastructure alternatives have to start being considered instead of waiting for the fiscally improbable. Trains don't run on pork barrels.

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