Aurizon prepares to resume grain haulage in Queensland

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Aurizon transferred a previously stored grain set from Acacia Ridge to Willowburn (Toowoomba) yesterday in apparent preparations to haul grain off the South Western Line. Although Aurizon lost its GrainCorp contract to Watco at the end of 2019, it has retained contracts with other grain groups, including CHS Broadbent, although the poor 2020 season saw no grain transported for these contracts.

Social media groups are indicating grain will be hauled from Daymar, eight kilometres east of Thallon. Aurizon has previously loaded grain directly from ground to the mainline at this site, which is connected via rural roads to the St George region to the north, and Mungindi and Weemelah in north western NSW. So far the majority of this season's grain crop has been coming off the South Western Line.

This grain set has had a remarkable journey already this year, after being recovered from storage in MVR's Monkland yard by C17 974 on March 1st, before the 600-tonne rake was hauled by EE 1632 up to the Gympie yard while being banked by the C17. Yesterday's journey was slightly less out of the ordinary with a pair of Aurizon 2300s providing the power.

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  GheringhapLoop GEEWONG

Location: Gheringhap Vic 3331
Could this be described as a late start for the grain season transportation for Queensland this year?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco has been using its three GrainCorp grain sets in Southern Queensland heavily for a number of months. Most activity has been out of Thallon on the South Western Line, but trains have also been running to Roma on the Western Line, and Meandarra on the former Glenmorgan branch. It's a pretty big harvest this year.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Watco has been ... running to ... Meandarra on the former Glenmorgan branch.
Sulla1
Really? There is no shine on the rails. Looks like it hasn't been used for years!
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco has been ... running to ... Meandarra on the former Glenmorgan branch.
Really? There is no shine on the rails. Looks like it hasn't been used for years!
Graham4405
Yep, Meandarra trains began running in the last week of January, with at least one or two trains running each week during February and March. There should be a bit of a shine on those rails by now. Trains have mostly been worked by WRA/WRB combinations.
  emerald-a Junior Train Controller

Has anyone heard anything about Graincorp  approaching Aurizon to move grain in the South  West for them? .

Have heard a few murmurs to that effect.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I've heard rumours Watco would like another two or three grainsets to meet demand, Aurizon's stored fleet would seem to offer an immediate short term solution.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Aurizon has run a number of route tuition Light Engine movements on the South Western Line south from Toowoomba this week in apparent preparation for grain haulage. Most have gone to Goondiwindi as far as I know.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Aurizon has run its first grain train into Brisbane today since Watco took over the GrainCorp contract. 2363 & 2360 headed a loaded 38 wagon Aurizon grain set through Ipswich at 12.15pm heading to Fisherman Island. The train loaded at Thallon on the South Western line.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Aurizon has run its first grain train into Brisbane today since Watco took over the GrainCorp contract. 2363 & 2360 headed a loaded 38 wagon Aurizon grain set through Ipswich at 12.15pm heading to Fisherman Island. The train loaded at Thallon on the South Western line.
Sulla1
So is this because Watco can't cope with the task or has Watco ditched the grain contract in favour of cattle?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I believe Aurizon is hauling grain for another grain handler, but I don't know that for certain.
  emerald-a Junior Train Controller

A group of big producers built a loading facility on the main line at Thallon a few years ago , so i would presume that it is coming from there.
  qldchook Locomotive Driver

An Aurizon grain train noted at Fisherman Island this morning.

Also noted yesterday afternoon were 2 container trains, a Watco grain train and an Aurizon coal train, making a busy period on the Island.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

A group of big producers built a loading facility on the main line at Thallon a few years ago , so i would presume that it is coming from there.
emerald-a

Confirmation on social media this morning that Aurizon is indeed hauling grain for the Thallon Grains farming consortium. Some details about Thallon Grains here...

https://slideplayer.com/slide/9415553/
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
A group of big producers built a loading facility on the main line at Thallon a few years ago , so i would presume that it is coming from there.

Confirmation on social media this morning that Aurizon is indeed hauling grain for the Thallon Grains farming consortium. Some details about Thallon Grains here...

https://slideplayer.com/slide/9415553/
Sulla1
A few interesting points on the last slide (minor paraphrasing)

'Issues to be solved:
- increased utilisation of rail assets
- reduced rail access charges
- increased competition for rail providers
- reliability of rail services.'

1, 3 and 4 wont be addressable with only Aurizon and Watco operating on the network, and 2 probably would decrease if 1 was possible too, driven by 3 and 4.

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