Inland Railway - Construction Phase

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Let's make Inland and other Interstate Rail work properly and genuinely shift traffic from road using modern, currently available, efficient diesel-electric locos and state of the art wagons before we go off into fantasy land (for us anyway) with electrickery.

We cannot compare Australia with Europe so far as rail operations are concerned although it would be nice to start with Swiss punctuality.Smile

Remember everything comes at a cost which someone, somewhere, along the way will want to recoup somehow.
A good start would be to build Inland Rail with the route set up to have double track and electrification added at a later stage. Every cutting, embankment, crossing overpass and underpass should be built to double track width and with sufficient height clearance for OHLE to be added.

To lock it in to a long term future of only being a single track line with diesels chugging along it is to

a) leave little room to handle the growth if it is more successful than expected,
b) invite questions as to why it is not being planned to be a success
c) leave people wondering if it should be built at all as it isn't sufficiently different to the existing situation of diesels chugging along a single track line.

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
A good start would be to build Inland Rail with the route set up to have double track and electrification added at a later stage. Every cutting, embankment, crossing overpass and underpass should be built to double track width and with sufficient height clearance for OHLE to be added.
justapassenger
Completely agree. It's easier and cheaper overall to do it now than later wish you'd done it at the start - and the benefit of dual track formations in a single-track network is access alongside your train should you trip an HBD or need relief in an out-of-the-way spot. I've lost count of the number of times I've stopped traffic on an an adjacent line to walk my train safely simply because there's no safe walkway unless you create one.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

We shall see won't we but I'm not holding my breath for the inland to achieve anything other then to allow SCT and some other operators to avoid Sydney? That east west increase is only a result of the pandemic and why had that task dropped down to where it was when it was at 90+ percent a while ago. East west the train has a huge advantage over the truck that it completely lacks in the north south market and even the inland won't solve this.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Even the current NSW Government has missed it rail freight targets. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/congestion-compounded-as-more-trucks-added-to-sydney-roads-20201101-p56aix.html

Precedent doesn't look so good for those who think this rail line will help move trucks off the road. All that it looks like achieving is moving the path freight takes. POB is not in anyway setup to handle the freight task of SG traffic from the north west of NSW where it will still be as quick and better for the train to head to Newcastle. Especially when you look at Newcastle as a port that is designed to take that traffic.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
East west the train has a huge advantage over the truck that it completely lacks in the north south market and even the inland won't solve this.Even the current NSW Government has missed it rail freight targets. https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/congestion-compounded-as-more-trucks-added-to-sydney-roads-20201101-p56aix.html
simstrain


Inland Rail will introduce the same advantages for rail on the North South that it currently has on the South West - fast running and double stacking. For me a rail link that bypasses the heavily congested freight lines around Sydney is a no brainer.

Precedent doesn't look so good for those who think this rail line will help move trucks off the road. All that it looks like achieving is moving the path freight takes.
simstrain


That's pretty much the idea of a new piece of infrastructure.


POB is not in anyway setup to handle the freight task of SG traffic from the north west of NSW where it will still be as quick and better for the train to head to Newcastle. Especially when you look at Newcastle as a port that is designed to take that traffic.
simstrain


If Newcastle is the better port then the new connection to Western Queensland is a good idea. It will give much faster access from Melbourne too.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
We shall see won't we but I'm not holding my breath for the inland to achieve anything other then to allow SCT and some other operators to avoid Sydney? That east west increase is only a result of the pandemic and why had that task dropped down to where it was when it was at 90+ percent a while ago. East west the train has a huge advantage over the truck that it completely lacks in the north south market and even the inland won't solve this.
simstrain

Government coastal shipping using foreign flagged vessels and government policy allowing larger and heavier trucks.

You've been told this, but you ignore it as it doesn't suit your arguments.

I think you're a stooge planted here by the government to denigrate the rail industry in order to back up their policies Razz
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

And speaking of stooges…

ABC News site this morning has a couple of interesting stories about Barnaby and his mob. One (David Speers?) discusses Nats move to “nett zero 2050”, the other Barnaby wants Inland Rail extended to Gladstone….. to carry coal that would have gone via Toowoomba to Brisbane.

Notwithstanding that several of the Qld coal mines running from Toowoomba seem to be closing, why build a railway to carry a product you want to stop mining?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
And speaking of stooges…

ABC News site this morning has a couple of interesting stories about Barnaby and his mob. One (David Speers?) discusses Nats move to “nett zero 2050”, the other Barnaby wants Inland Rail extended to Gladstone….. to carry coal that would have gone via Toowoomba to Brisbane.

Notwithstanding that several of the Qld coal mines running from Toowoomba seem to be closing, why build a railway to carry a product you want to stop mining?
hbedriver
Because other countries still want to buy it. Stopping coal mining is not how we are going to get to net zero

Coal mining and exports are expected to be part of the equation for somewhere around 20 > 30 years IIRC with other countries still building / having just brought online new coal fired power stations, China and India for starters

Agriculture is one of the biggest barriers to Australia getting to net zero and how it is treated is one of the big stumbling blocks to getting the Nats onside - they are still bleeding about the land clearing laws that came about following Australia's commitment to Kyoto

That is probably why Barnacle is running around spruiking a railway to Gladstone, to distract attention from other issues that the Nats have with their own constituents who are turning to One Nation / SFF party in droves in some electorates. And, spoiler alert, those parties ain't gonna vote for net zero any time soon
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Net zero doesnt mean no coal.  There will be a role for coal somewhere (look at our own industry for a very minor (and insignificant) example, steam trains aint gonna go electric), and that role if offset will be environmentally sustainable.  Its just that current coal reliance is far too high and alternatives need to be found.  And i also do buy into the argument that cleaner burning coal* that we have in Australia should be part of the equation to remove dirtier burning coal from elsewhere in the world.  IF we have to use it then lets try and be as clean as we can about it.

* I dont believe in clean coal however, so lets not mistake the two concepts.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Inland Rail will introduce the same advantages for rail on the North South that it currently has on the South West - fast running and double stacking. For me a rail link that bypasses the heavily congested freight lines around Sydney is a no brainer.

That's pretty much the idea of a new piece of infrastructure.

If Newcastle is the better port then the new connection to Western Queensland is a good idea. It will give much faster access from Melbourne too.
Fatty

No it will not and your making the exact same incorrect assumption as the government, the ARTC and others on here are making in just assuming it will happen. Sure it will provide a nice alternative to going through Sydney but it isn't going to move trucks off the road. The traffic has already disappeared and it ain't coming back on the north south market.

That is the idea but the Government and ARTC have had many previous pieces of new infrastructure where lots of money was spent and the targets for the project failed miserably. Darwin to Adelaide rail line and the Southern Sydney freight line are the prime examples.

The inland doesn't even connect to western Queensland. There are no existing or new intermodals planned on the inland railway (that I know of) in the QLD section and the existing lines that aren't being used as part of the inland will still be narrow gauge. PN will still move most of it's services through Sydney to Melbourne because it runs one train that services Sydney and Melbourne. If they go via the inland then they will have to put the Sydney traffic on a separate train and this will drive costs up further by requiring extra crews.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

We shall see won't we but I'm not holding my breath for the inland to achieve anything other then to allow SCT and some other operators to avoid Sydney? That east west increase is only a result of the pandemic and why had that task dropped down to where it was when it was at 90+ percent a while ago. East west the train has a huge advantage over the truck that it completely lacks in the north south market and even the inland won't solve this.

Government coastal shipping using foreign flagged vessels and government policy allowing larger and heavier trucks.

You've been told this, but you ignore it as it doesn't suit your arguments.

I think you're a stooge planted here by the government to denigrate the rail industry in order to back up their policies Razz
bingley hall

I'm not ignoring it at all and hence why I referenced the pandemic. The numbers went back up because these things you mentioned were no longer in competition during the pandemic. The boat shipping thing may change but the trucks are not going to go away. There are 2 main previous projects that point to it not working other then for SCT which ironically the inland ends right near. You are just assuming the build it and it will come philosophy.

The only other freight trip to benefit will be any traffic that goes to Adelaide and Perth. This won't necessarily increase the freight numbers but again just move it away from Sydney which I don't have a problem with. Sydney and Newcastle are pretty congested but to think it is going to improve the N/S freight traffic percentage from 5% to even 15% is laughable and good luck if you think it will gain the 70+% of the east west route.

No I don't work for the Government and I'm sick and tired of the incompetence of rail management in this country. Especially the ARTC. I watched that useless bunch of idiots bungle the freight line construction because they assumed that running rail in Sydney would be like it is elsewhere and they could do it for cheap. They didn't take in to account things like existing Cityrail / Railcorp / Sydney trains infrastructure and the whole project was a mess and paused for several years.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Inland Rail will introduce the same advantages for rail on the North South that it currently has on the South West - fast running and double stacking. For me a rail link that bypasses the heavily congested freight lines around Sydney is a no brainer.

That's pretty much the idea of a new piece of infrastructure.

If Newcastle is the better port then the new connection to Western Queensland is a good idea. It will give much faster access from Melbourne too.

No it will not and your making the exact same incorrect assumption as the government, the ARTC and others on here are making in just assuming it will happen. Sure it will provide a nice alternative to going through Sydney but it isn't going to move trucks off the road. The traffic has already disappeared and it ain't coming back on the north south market.

That is the idea but the Government and ARTC have had many previous pieces of new infrastructure where lots of money was spent and the targets for the project failed miserably. Darwin to Adelaide rail line and the Southern Sydney freight line are the prime examples.

The inland doesn't even connect to western Queensland. There are no existing or new intermodals planned on the inland railway (that I know of) in the QLD section and the existing lines that aren't being used as part of the inland will still be narrow gauge. PN will still move most of it's services through Sydney to Melbourne because it runs one train that services Sydney and Melbourne. If they go via the inland then they will have to put the Sydney traffic on a separate train and this will drive costs up further by requiring extra crews.
simstrain
You may, sadly, be proven correct on a number of fronts without a massive effort on the part of the PNs of this world to actually gain traffic off road. To do this they must be competitive with cost, punctuality, reliability and a uniformly good service at the times and levels that the customer requires.

Time alone will tell but I, too, remain skeptical to a degree as I cannot see PN (for example) putting in the money and resources needed to produce what will need to be an entirely new level of service for the east coast. I hope that I am wrong.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne

No it will not and your making the exact same incorrect assumption as the government, the ARTC and others on here are making in just assuming it will happen. Sure it will provide a nice alternative to going through Sydney but it isn't going to move trucks off the road. The traffic has already disappeared and it ain't coming back on the north south market.
simstrain


You're assuming that a faster route that will double the capacity of trains on the network will make no difference to the cost to deliver a box from Melbourne to Brisbane. It remains to be seen but given that rail companies are enthusiastic about it and truck industry shills are talking it down I'm putting my money on it being a very effective way for rail to capture a lot of the Melbourne - Brisbane freight task.


PN will still move most of it's services through Sydney to Melbourne because it runs one train that services Sydney and Melbourne. If they go via the inland then they will have to put the Sydney traffic on a separate train and this will drive costs up further by requiring extra crews.
simstrain


PN already run dedicated Brisbane and Sydney services from Melbourne. The Sydney services will continue to go to Sydney and the Brisbane services will bypass Sydney and save 10 hours on the journey time. Going via inland rail will require fewer crews due to the faster travel time.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

PN already run dedicated Brisbane and Sydney services from Melbourne. The Sydney services will continue to go to Sydney and the Brisbane services will bypass Sydney and save 10 hours on the journey time. Going via inland rail will require fewer crews due to the faster travel time.
Fatty

Thanks for the very informative post.

I myself am also hoping the inland line will encourage new operators into the sector and also as you say encourage more freight onto rail which is good everyone including the customers.

Seems the Nationals are keen for the northern part of the network to have coal.  https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/nationals-leader-says-book-in-election-commitment-of-coal-trains-to-gladstone-via-inland-rail
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
You are just assuming the build it and it will come philosophy.
simstrain

Am I?

You're the one doing the assuming sunbeam.

Nowhere have I said I support Inland Rail. In fact if you were to delve back into the archives of time, over the years I've written a number of articles critical of the project.

However, now the Feds have made the money available and the project is a fait acompli (or will be in a few years time) we have to make the best of it. Posting random and inaccurate bollocks like you keep doing doesn't help move things forward. And just because my views don't align with yours don't assume that I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

However, now the Feds have made the money available and the project is a fait acompli (or will be in a few years time) we have to make the best of it.
bingley hall
I would suggest we are well short of the point where it could become a fait accompli.

A strong run from SFF or PHON in a couple of seats next year and everything is wide open. There could then be a lengthy extension of the present phase where exit options are preserved at all costs and progress limited to nibbling around the edges - or even the discovery that available money can be made unavailable.

Hard to see any of the heavy lifting actually being committed to any earlier than 2026.

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