Inland Railway - Construction Phase

 
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
One thing that I have discovered that is not being made with big fanfare is the fact that the Newell Hwy has been receiving funds to upgrade it in direct competition to Inland Rail. They are currently building a bypass around Parkes and Coonabarabran. They finished the Moree bypass a couple of years ago, and are looking at Narrabri and Wyalong/West Wyalong, then Dubbo.
Jack Le Lievre
The original IR business case has a graph in it showing the growth on the corridor, and the mode shares.  Essentially the inland is modelled to take all the new growth but existing traffic levels will remain.  So bypasses etc are probably still needed.

Plus theyre good vote winners in the country...

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Inland Rail just got another $5.5b from McCormick. https://t.co/1wnd4Gz16U?amp=1

He is certainly and thankfully handing out the dollars for rail today.
I suspect this is just the budget allocation being formalised.  Its an announcement of decisions made years ago.

Being touted as enhancements over presumably the initial scope.
bevans
I might need to go find an old hat of mine and begin basting it.  Im seeing comments in the Courier Mail that indicate that this is indeed a cost increase/blowout....  Need to get to the office to get behind the paywall though.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

One thing that I have discovered that is not being made with big fanfare is the fact that the Newell Hwy has been receiving funds to upgrade it in direct competition to Inland Rail. They are currently building a bypass around Parkes and Coonabarabran. They finished the Moree bypass a couple of years ago, and are looking at Narrabri and Wyalong/West Wyalong, then Dubbo.
Jack Le Lievre
I seem to recall John Howard justifying Inland Rail (long before it had such a name) as he could see that without it the Goulburn Valley, Newell & Gore/Cunningham Hwys would have to be rebuilt in similar manner as the Hume and Pacific Hwys. The shame of it is that the rail project is taking so long that at least some hwy upgrades are necessary in the meantime.
  420renegade Station Staff

The 5.5 billion is not a gift its a loan that has to be repaid by artc
its just a financial transaction who knows where the money is borrowed from
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
One thing that I have discovered that is not being made with big fanfare is the fact that the Newell Hwy has been receiving funds to upgrade it in direct competition to Inland Rail. They are currently building a bypass around Parkes and Coonabarabran. They finished the Moree bypass a couple of years ago, and are looking at Narrabri and Wyalong/West Wyalong, then Dubbo.
I seem to recall John Howard justifying Inland Rail (long before it had such a name) as he could see that without it the Goulburn Valley, Newell & Gore/Cunningham Hwys would have to be rebuilt in similar manner as the Hume and Pacific Hwys. The shame of it is that the rail project is taking so long that at least some hwy upgrades are necessary in the meantime.
Lockspike
Inland rail concept got serious back in the 90's when National Rail was created and the federal government rediscovered rail investment. Back then it was being promoted as the Inland Rail Expressway.
  bevans Site Admin
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
This has just arrived into the RP news inbox

https://Railpage.com.au/news/s/-father-of-inland-rail-everald-compton-calls-for-australian-rail-track-corporation-to-be-sacked
bevans
Reality check, it's a rail freight project! This was always going to be done on the cheap and dragging it out doesn't help. Delivery and budget decisions rest with Canberra. Cross city tunnels and highway upgrades are far more sexy.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Could be over before it begins if you consider this: https://t.co/iRdkqNxbes?amp=1
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Could be over before it begins if you consider this: https://t.co/iRdkqNxbes?amp=1
bevans
Crazy enough to be true.
Who would be behind such a plan and who would benefit here in Oz (as distinct from in China)?
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
I am glad that the government has seen fit to expedite the building of Inland Rail. So, much so that it will take ARTC two and a half years to build 52km of track between Milguy and North Star.

https://extranet.artc.com.au/docman/DocManFiles/DocTypes/TAA/Files/0017-2021.PDF?806561025
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I am glad that the government has seen fit to expedite the building of Inland Rail. So, much so that it will take ARTC two and a half years to build 52km of track between Milguy and North Star.

https://extranet.artc.com.au/docman/DocManFiles/DocTypes/TAA/Files/0017-2021.PDF?806561025
Jack Le Lievre
It's taken almost that long for a couple of kms of track at Ettamogah so that seems pretty quick in comparison.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I am glad that the government has seen fit to expedite the building of Inland Rail. So, much so that it will take ARTC two and a half years to build 52km of track between Milguy and North Star.

https://extranet.artc.com.au/docman/DocManFiles/DocTypes/TAA/Files/0017-2021.PDF?806561025
It's taken almost that long for a couple of kms of track at Ettamogah so that seems pretty quick in comparison.
Fatty
The 1,051 miles (1,691 km) Port Augusta - Kalgoorlie Trans line only took 5 years despite the harsh conditions, the isolation and WW 1.
  Sunbird Locomotive Fireman

The Inland Rail B2G alternative routing via Cecil Plains was released on the November 2nd...short version - more expensive, with greater community impacts than the currently planned corridor through the Darling Downs.

https://www.inlandrail.gov.au/about-us/publications-and-reports/inland-rail-b2g-alternative-route-comparison-review


https://www.inlandrail.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/GTA%20Final%20Report%20for%20Review%20of%20IR%20route%20via%20Cecil%20Plains.pdf
An update on the faux debate over what route between the border and Gowrie.
Not surprisingly the government is sticking with the existing proposal.
It was just a political exercise to delay making a final decision.
This uncertainty limited the electoral backlash from the local community at both recent polls (state and federal byelection).
Now they can just say "bad luck people its happening".

https://www.railexpress.com.au/eis-for-border-to-gowrie-open-to-public-comment/
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Geotech crews and surveyors have been active in the area of the proposed Condamine Flood Plain crossing between Brookstead and Yandilla over the past 3-4 weeks.  There seem to be at least 2 different Geotech contractors in operation as well as ancillary staff protecting road (little used) crossings of the existing mothballed section of branchline cut by 2011 floods.

5915
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Inland Rail is starting to run into trouble at the Queensland border - the lack of committment or interest from the Queensland State Government and NIMBY-ism is starting to hurt...

https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/7113169/state-govt-has-no-intention-to-deliver-inland-rail/?fbclid=IwAR1xrBbTRZh1N5t_i7e76jaGysGwobsjhWQG1NW1X-7DFEId0yHrIxkNXvs
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
https://www.miragenews.com/richard-wankmuller-to-retire-as-artc-inland-510147/

Hmm.  Wonder what is going on here, if anything.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Not sure if this has been covered elsewhere but Vossloh Cogifer have been awarded an $80M contract to manufacture turnouts (they'll always be points to me!) for the Inland Rail build

https://www.castlemainemail.com.au/80m-contract-for-vossloh-cogifer/

Vossloh occupies part of the old Thompson Kelly Foundry in Castlemaine which is still connected to the Bendigo line although I'm pretty sure they don't use the connection these days

Thompsons manufactured steam locos for VR and the Commonwealth at the site 'back in't day' but sadly the business was taken over by Flowserve who use the main part of the site to service and repair pumps

There is a brilliant Thompsons archive and display out at the Maldon Machinery Museum, if you are ever out there it is well worth a visit
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Thompsons manufactured steam locos for VR and the Commonwealth at the site 'back in't day' but sadly the business was taken over by Flowserve who use the main part of the site to service and repair pumps
"BrentonGolding"
In the day, Thompsons manufactured a comprehensive range of pumps under their own brand name, and there are still many of them operating. Kelly and Lewis was an Australian pump manufacturer based in a huge factory in Newcomen Road Springvale. After many years, and for various reasons, Thompsons became Thompsons Kelly & Lewis, usually known as TKL. Flowserve is a later conglomerate, and still sells parts for those earlier pump models.
  Sunbird Locomotive Fireman

Inland Rail is starting to run into trouble at the Queensland border - the lack of committment or interest from the Queensland State Government and NIMBY-ism is starting to hurt...

https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/7113169/state-govt-has-no-intention-to-deliver-inland-rail/?fbclid=IwAR1xrBbTRZh1N5t_i7e76jaGysGwobsjhWQG1NW1X-7DFEId0yHrIxkNXvs
Sulla1
That lack of commitment from the state labor government isn't a new development.
I noticed in the lead up to the may 2019 federal election that the Queensland government was slowing the approval process down so as to avoid signing off on anything before polling day.
This along with their sudden enthusiasm for the long delayed tunnel lowering project on the existing range crossing led me to suspect that an incoming Labor government would terminate the project at Gowrie.
They would argue shuttle trains to the port on the existing alignment would be fine instead of the billions required to continue the standard guage to Acacia Ridge.
In reality of course most of the boxes would just finish their journey on a truck traversing the new second range crossing.
The money saved (along with the also cancelled Brisbane metro project) would have been used to fund the cross river rail project.
Alas Labor wasn't elected despite strong expectations so I'll never know if I guessed right.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Inland Rail is starting to run into trouble at the Queensland border - the lack of committment or interest from the Queensland State Government and NIMBY-ism is starting to hurt...

https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/7113169/state-govt-has-no-intention-to-deliver-inland-rail/?fbclid=IwAR1xrBbTRZh1N5t_i7e76jaGysGwobsjhWQG1NW1X-7DFEId0yHrIxkNXvs
That lack of commitment from the state labor government isn't a new development.
I noticed in the lead up to the may 2019 federal election that the Queensland government was slowing the approval process down so as to avoid signing off on anything before polling day.
This along with their sudden enthusiasm for the long delayed tunnel lowering project on the existing range crossing led me to suspect that an incoming Labor government would terminate the project at Gowrie.
They would argue shuttle trains to the port on the existing alignment would be fine instead of the billions required to continue the standard guage to Acacia Ridge.
In reality of course most of the boxes would just finish their journey on a truck traversing the new second range crossing.
The money saved (along with the also cancelled Brisbane metro project) would have been used to fund the cross river rail project.
Alas Labor wasn't elected despite strong expectations so I'll never know if I guessed right.
Sunbird
I think Labor is more focussed on the Cross River Rail project and has been repeatedly rebuffed by the LNP Federal government.  So I can see why they may not want to bend over backwards to help a pet LNP project get across the line.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I think Labor is more focussed on the Cross River Rail project and has been repeatedly rebuffed by the LNP Federal government.  So I can see why they may not want to bend over backwards to help a pet LNP project get across the line.
james.au
To be fair to QLD Labor, the federal Coalition also seems quite reluctant to commit fully and push Inland Rail past the point of no return where cancelling the remainder is no longer an option and there will be no choice but to complete the whole thing.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think Labor is more focussed on the Cross River Rail project and has been repeatedly rebuffed by the LNP Federal government.  So I can see why they may not want to bend over backwards to help a pet LNP project get across the line.
To be fair to QLD Labor, the federal Coalition also seems quite reluctant to commit fully and push Inland Rail past the point of no return where cancelling the remainder is no longer an option and there will be no choice but to complete the whole thing.
justapassenger
Im not sure, the funding has been committed and things are progressing pretty fast.  The Condamine basin reexamination has slowed things down in Qld but it seems to be still progressing through all the relevant approvals processes?
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
This article about creating a traffic jam https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/inland-rail-will-be-devastating-for-southside-brisbane-inquiry-told seems relevant also.  Why will there be more trucks there when freight will be arriving into the same area of Brisbane unless i missed something.  Could be more about the lack of funding for a dedicated link to the Brisbane port?

if they did not get the money for the port link maybe they are now in go slow for the project sadly.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

That article exhibits a great deal of bollocks. It ignores a standard gauge rail link beyond Acacia Ridge already exists. It ignores Acacia Ridge is no longer the only standard gauge rail terminal in the Brisbane region. And it ignores the reality of Acacia Ridge being in any way capable of handling expected freight volumes. It can't, it won't and new terminals will have to be built further south or west if freight demand rises beyond Acacia Ridge's capacity.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

I think Labor is more focussed on the Cross River Rail project and has been repeatedly rebuffed by the LNP Federal government.  So I can see why they may not want to bend over backwards to help a pet LNP project get across the line.
To be fair to QLD Labor, the federal Coalition also seems quite reluctant to commit fully and push Inland Rail past the point of no return where cancelling the remainder is no longer an option and there will be no choice but to complete the whole thing.
justapassenger
The amount of money committed and the work underway and completed would suggest this project is beyond the point of no return. However, the Federal Government should fund whatever amount a state is reluctant to contribute. They can always find a way to punish a recalcitrant state in the future.

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