Inland Railway - Construction Phase

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Not as much egg on face as losing a seat to ONP.

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  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
My money is on the incumbent government cancelling the remaining major stages of the project ahead of the 2022 election. Parts that are just upgrades of existing lines (or mostly upgrades with small bypasses/connections, e.g. the work at Moree) can still go ahead.

It will be a win-win move, farmers get out of hosting a railway that does nothing for them and the LNP get to save a couple of seats they can't afford to lose.

It's not just about QLD, but also Narromine-Narrabri.
I cant imagine this happening at all, given both sides have been pushing this for decades now.  It would be huge egg on face for both sides to do this.
james.au
It will come down to whether you would rather be on the government benches with egg on your face or the opposition benches with a clean face.  If that is the situation it comes down to it will be a no brainer.

I also think that given the debt any government is going to face from the last eighteen months spending (with more to come) there will be a desire to cut spending.

I am a cynic but as someone else posted in this forum quite some time ago, they would believe the government will build the inland rail when they start building a new line down the Toowoomba Range.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I am a cynic but as someone else posted in this forum quite some time ago, they would believe the government will build the inland rail when they start building a new line down the Toowoomba Range.
7334
Too right.

The point of no return is doing the heavy lifting on the Qld sectors and Narromine-Narrabri. The continuing avoidance of passing that point of no return is a clear signal that cancellation is an option still under consideration.

Full commitment to completing the project would have looked like starting those parts first, and doing the other parts (upgrades and short bypasses/connections) in parallel.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

I am a cynic but as someone else posted in this forum quite some time ago, they would believe the government will build the inland rail when they start building a new line down the Toowoomba Range.
Too right.

The point of no return is doing the heavy lifting on the Qld sectors and Narromine-Narrabri. The continuing avoidance of passing that point of no return is a clear signal that cancellation is an option still under consideration.

Full commitment to completing the project would have looked like starting those parts first, and doing the other parts (upgrades and short bypasses/connections) in parallel.
justapassenger
Given how long it takes this country to get a major infrastructure project up to 'shovel ready' stage, doing the upgrade of the existing sections was the quick way to make it look like something is happening. It is also true that it is still easy to pull the plug on the project as a whole, something that is going to be sorely tempting when looking to reduce budget deficit.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Lachlan River Rail Bridge Reference Design


https://youtu.be/fm6s52CAsZ8

Wagga Wagga Finalised Reference Design


https://youtu.be/D-y5jW5ppFQ
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
More contracts locked in whilst going through the various planning hurdles.

"The BHQ joint venture (BHQ JV), comprising of Bielby Holdings Pty Ltd, JF Hull Holdings Pty Ltd, and QH&M Birt Pty Ltd, has entered into a collaborative framework agreement with ARTC for the Northern Civil Works Program."...
"Major construction will not start until statutory approvals have been received from the Queensland and Australian governments, but with the appointment of a preferred proponent now tells local businesses to get ‘Inland Rail ready’ and start talking with BHQ JV about what the future looks like,"
https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/artc-takes-first-step-towards-inland-rail-construction-in-queensland/
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
What does a civil works proponent actually do?

And does a "collaborative framework agreement" mean detailed design work or (shudder) actual commitment to spend some money and dig some dirt?

OK, it is a good sign to be doing the stuff, as I understand it, to be ready to start digging as soon as the environmental approvals are done but somebody has to show some enthusiasm for spending a lot of money before the trains start running.

I still have my doubts and obviously so does ARTC. Five km of new track still leaves a lot before it shows a real commitment.


Bazza

(Waiting to see a train roll over the bridge over Wrights Road Helidon where I once lived)
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Design Options for the Benalla Station Precinct


https://youtu.be/rFvvpccBEZs
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Anderson Street Bridge Replacement Options at Euroa


https://youtu.be/pnBbS1p3JEI
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Junee Reference Design - October 2021



https://youtu.be/81CB9knUj0E
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Huh? Why does ARTC want to create a single track section between the crossing and the subway? Is there an issue with the subway that it will no longer accommodate double track?
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Huh? Why does ARTC want to create a single track section between the crossing and the subway? Is there an issue with the subway that it will no longer accommodate double track?
Lockspike
I was wondering about this too.
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
Huh? Why does ARTC want to create a single track section between the crossing and the subway? Is there an issue with the subway that it will no longer accommodate double track?
I was wondering about this too.
Fatty
Me three but I was also wondering why they proposed slewing nearly 16kms of track between there and Illabo.

One explanation might be that it is intended to provide wider track centres in which case moving the two tracks further apart on the bridge may be more trouble than is justified.  If that is the explanation what do you gain given that I doubt that those few kms of the overall route are the limiting factor in terms of load width?

Someone knows the answer, but it is not me!
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Huh? Why does ARTC want to create a single track section between the crossing and the subway? Is there an issue with the subway that it will no longer accommodate double track?
Lockspike
Is this immediately north of Junee?  On that section the up line is marked as a shunting neck. A long one...
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Huh? Why does ARTC want to create a single track section between the crossing and the subway? Is there an issue with the subway that it will no longer accommodate double track?
Is this immediately north of Junee?  On that section the up line is marked as a shunting neck. A long one...I suppose it saves removing the track.
duttonbay
A track slew on a bridge is not a simple thing. If there is actually room but just need a bit of space to guarantee not striking the side through girder at speed, they may only need to move the rails over a bit on new slightly longer transoms.

Retaining the Up as a shunting neck would give a long neck to help assemble a longer Up train without fouling the new single track main.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Huh? Why does ARTC want to create a single track section between the crossing and the subway? Is there an issue with the subway that it will no longer accommodate double track?
Is this immediately north of Junee?  On that section the up line is marked as a shunting neck. A long one...I suppose it saves removing the track.
A track slew on a bridge is not a simple thing. If there is actually room but just need a bit of space to guarantee not striking the side through girder at speed, they may only need to move the rails over a bit on new slightly longer transoms.

Retaining the Up as a shunting neck would give a long neck to help assemble a longer Up train without fouling the new single track main.
Lockspike
Looks to me as though the slew is just beyond the bridge, with the abutment being strengthened. But it's very hard to tell. Wonder why they couldn't simply move the slew 100 metres further on.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

ARTC are a bunch of idiots. There will never be a need to have double stack freight trains especially if you have double track. The ARTC should forget about double stacking along this corridor as it won't be needed. What they should be focussing on is getting the line double tracked the whole way between Sydney and Melbourne or as much of it as possible.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
ARTC are a bunch of idiots. There will never be a need to have double stack freight trains especially if you have double track. The ARTC should forget about double stacking along this corridor as it won't be needed. What they should be focussing on is getting the line double tracked the whole way between Sydney and Melbourne or as much of it as possible.
simstrain

This is about Melbourne to Brisbane, not Melbourne to Sydney.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
ARTC are a bunch of idiots. There will never be a need to have double stack freight trains especially if you have double track. The ARTC should forget about double stacking along this corridor as it won't be needed. What they should be focussing on is getting the line double tracked the whole way between Sydney and Melbourne or as much of it as possible.
simstrain
Freight operators will be very interested in double stacking on the Melbourne to Brisbane corridor even if you're not. Double-stacked trains on the new line will make rail incredibly competitive.
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
ARTC are a bunch of idiots. There will never be a need to have double stack freight trains especially if you have double track.
simstrain
Except Inland Rail is not going to be dual track throughout its' length...

The ARTC should forget about double stacking along this corridor as it won't be needed.
simstrain
Couldn't disagree more.

With the whole climate change agenda, removing several thousand trucks on the Melbourne-Brisbane corridor is going to significantly sway traffic in this projects favour. Especially if they are able to introduce a RORO-style of consist similar to the EuroTunnel shuttles. Even charging HC/MC trucks a $1,000 one-way fare, it's going to save them $$ compared to paying their own fuel yet alone brake & tyre wear. 1,600km @ around 50L/100 that's 800L of Diesel @ $1.50/L = $1,200 just in fuel. Add in the ability to consider time in passenger coach as rest time and they can still do a full shift on arrival at the destination.

Whether the truckwits will ultimately get on board (terrible pun, sorry! Embarassed) with this remains to be seen but it's really a win-win for both industries.

Even if PN/QR/Whoever doesn't do something like this, the ability to double-stack a train is going to save an operator megabucks in access fees, crewing & fuel compared to running two single-stacked trains.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Absolutely agree KR but, sadly, I cannot help but feel that all that will happen is that the existing Melbourne - Brisbane freight services will simply run via Narromine in lieu of via Casino.

I find it exceedingly difficult to visualise the massive modal shift that should come with Inland Rail. Even if the ARTC infrastructure is all well and good it seems that there is always some tin pot restriction or darg that kills everything; whether it be a heritage country dunny or some influential NIMBY.

I know not what operational planning is (or is not) taking place but as well as reliable, frequent services to suit the customers' needs and double stack containers it must also include a RO-RO piggyback service for road vehicles.

Granted that there may be technical difficulties with the small wheels and resultant bearing loads etc on European style RO-RO wagons in Australia with heavier loads and higher long distance speeds but SOMEONE (anyone) should be looking into these issues NOW. With double stack clearances and different RO-RO wagons perhaps these issues can, at least, be mitigated.

Ho-hum ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz that's rail.

Roll on the abominable no men, bureaucrats, regulators, governments, lawyers and accountants. I don't suppose that we could get Andrew Forrest or even SCT interested.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

ARTC are a bunch of idiots. There will never be a need to have double stack freight trains especially if you have double track. The ARTC should forget about double stacking along this corridor as it won't be needed. What they should be focussing on is getting the line double tracked the whole way between Sydney and Melbourne or as much of it as possible.

This is about Melbourne to Brisbane, not Melbourne to Sydney.
bingley hall

Except this part of the corridor shares with Melbourne to Sydney and so it is also about Sydney. It has daily passenger traffic on this section and so duplication in this area is much more important then building for double stack. The east coast is not the transcontinental line and so what works for that won't work here.

Instead of wasting there time on reducing track capacity they should be looking at how they can speed up the track by removing level crossings and increasing train speed instead. It is amazing how stupid the managers at the ARTC are. Only outdone by the even bigger idiots at vline / victrack.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Absolutely agree KR but, sadly, I cannot help but feel that all that will happen is that the existing Melbourne - Brisbane freight services will simply run via Narromine in lieu of via Casino.

I find it exceedingly difficult to visualise the massive modal shift that should come with Inland Rail. Even if the ARTC infrastructure is all well and good it seems that there is always some tin pot restriction or darg that kills everything; whether it be a heritage country dunny or some influential NIMBY.
YM-Mundrabilla

This is exactly what I envisage. No significant increase in freight traffic because we have been there and heard it all before when it comes to how they are trying to move freight off trucks and on to the rails and yet each year the rail freight task gets smaller. This is what we heard here about the freight line and yet all it has done is allow freight trains to move in to Sydney during the curfew periods which is good but it hasn't resulted in this massive modal shift that was talked about.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
ARTC are a bunch of idiots. There will never be a need to have double stack freight trains especially if you have double track. The ARTC should forget about double stacking along this corridor as it won't be needed. What they should be focussing on is getting the line double tracked the whole way between Sydney and Melbourne or as much of it as possible.
simstrain
Its not coal or grain that this is being built for (though the line will be used extensively for grain, particularly in the north).

Melbourne-Brisbane freight (like Perth-East Coast freight) is more fluffy and less dense, and so lower weights per container.  Indeed, there will be Perth-Brisbane and vice versa services on the corridor north of Parkes and the last thing you'll want to do is force the train to be destacked in Parkes and cause more inefficiency.  

Raises the question of what double stack capable Sydney-Melbourne track could mean for the SM/MS trains.  Where have we discussed this before?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Absolutely agree KR but, sadly, I cannot help but feel that all that will happen is that the existing Melbourne - Brisbane freight services will simply run via Narromine in lieu of via Casino.

I find it exceedingly difficult to visualise the massive modal shift that should come with Inland Rail. Even if the ARTC infrastructure is all well and good it seems that there is always some tin pot restriction or darg that kills everything; whether it be a heritage country dunny or some influential NIMBY.

This is exactly what I envisage. No significant increase in freight traffic because we have been there and heard it all before when it comes to how they are trying to move freight off trucks and on to the rails and yet each year the rail freight task gets smaller. This is what we heard here about the freight line and yet all it has done is allow freight trains to move in to Sydney during the curfew periods which is good but it hasn't resulted in this massive modal shift that was talked about.
simstrain
By cutting travel time down to 24hour turnaround, comparable to truck, the 1700km inland rail distance should make rail very competitive.

Also, in the queensland area, a better SG link into Brisbane is going to make major changes for Northwest NSW and SEQ production, and should see local mode shift in itself.

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