Many comments on the Australian Website with some readers still in denial.
This comment is fascinating and I think highlights the poor management of the network in the north of Queensland
This anti-rail lobby is news to me but not very surprising.
I have just moved to Cairns from NT and live near the start of the Kennedy Highway in Cairns. This is a two lane road (one lane each way up a very windy mountain range) that goes to Mareeba and then on to the Gulf etc.
There is the Kuranda Railway that goes to Mareeba and then used to continue to Atherton until it was ripped up. I am astounded to find that all the landfill destined waste from Cairns travels by semi-trailer up this road.
A perfectly good railway line is bypassed in favour of sending trucks up a potentially dangerous high usage road! I cannot see the logic in this from either a safety or environmental view. Ironically, the landfill is trucked up to Mareeba to protect the Great Barrier Reef from run-off.
The diesel used probably makes this a “two steps forward, two steps backward” situation. My main point is that using existing rail (this line is over 125 years old) must be able to be competitive with road transport, and if not then someone/thing is not trying hard enough, or, the lobby you speak of, Robert, is very successful.
Written by a person that has no idea about waste management.
The material ends up at a place away from the rail line.
Why is there no other freight being hauled by rail up and down the range? It is the same reason. It either requires a multi million dollar rail line to go to the landfill or it becomes containerised for transhipment. The tonnes involved do not warrant the cost of the double handling. It is more cost effective the run the material direct from the plant to the landfill, without the cost of transhipment at both ends.
Remember this has been the motivation to standardise our national rail system to avoid the cost of transhipment.
Rail haulage of waste is successful for larger tonnes. Cairns is circa 90,000 tpa. Sydney where it occurs is around 500,000 tpa from Clyde alone. Economically rail makes sense.
Same idiots that write waste should be rail hauled from Mackay to the huge holes in the Bowen Basin.
1. You need different wagons to haul waste than coal wagons.
2. Good luck finding a path for to the Bowen Basin for a train that isn't coal related, remember 2 decades ago fuel was hauled and are gone.
3. The mines do not want waste.
If that was possible, then we would have seen waste being hauled by rail to Ebenezer, rather than b doubles.
Rail works with BIG tonnes. Not because it feels good.
It rail haulage works for waste in NE USA, UK and Sydney (In fact UK and NE USA use barges too) as the tonnes throughput outweigh the cost of double handling.
This lovely idea is written by a kind person, that has no idea about costs.
In utopia I would like it, but waste is a competitive market, as ratepayers will only tolerate the lowest cost for waste management.