Inland Railway - Construction Phase

 
  stopblock Junior Train Controller

Location: Planet Earth
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.
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.
james.au
I agree with you james.au

I have been following the progress of the Inland Rail development from its earliest days of its current concept by Everald Compton, through to it being embraced and funded more recently by both sides of the political spectrum. By targeting the more realistic goal of Melbourne to Brisbane by the most direct route possible (and bypassing Sydney rather than trying to compete with the 1 shift truck movement so prevalent on this corridor), Inland Rail has the potential to revolutionise this corridor with some rewarding side benefits to the local community and the nation as a whole.

I say potentially, because while we have this great opportunity, the rail industry generally (and repeatedly - despite successes in coal and iron ore haulage) is better at 'own goals' than it is at winning back lost business opportunities. Given the opportunity that government support for Inland Rail provides, there are some weak links that need to be addressed if the full potential is to be reached. The biggest weakness I perceive at this stage is the immature level of logistical processing of rail bourne  containers at Brisbane. Even the SG link to the Port of Brisbane is underutilised. Without adequate logistical support for rail bourne containers arriving in Brisbane, all the containers that double stacked trains that the line could deliver to Brisbane may not be forwarded onward as easily as they arrive on the massive double stacked trains that are envisaged.

Perhaps the Roll-On/Roll-Off solution may not only alleviate this limitation of container handling logistics, but could well provide a more workable solution for the widespread distribution of the carrying capacity of Inland Rail's primary benefactors - the logistics industry.

Whether IR should have included a more northerly termination point is a debatable point, but nevertheless, it remains to be seen how this seemingly endless conveyor belt of containers northward will be distributed across its targeted market.

The same goes for Melbourne, but to a lesser extent, but again, from what I can see, it does not have enough port connected rail infrastructure to ensure a successful execution of a much touted 'landbridge' that is what we would like to see take place.

On side note, I find this an interesting and informative thread, and one of the most interesting on RP at the moment
Regards to all
StopBlock

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The infrastructure, in isolation, can only contribute so much towards rail being competitive.

The operators (the PNs et al of this world) should end up with the ball at their feet for an entirely new game but somehow I cannot see them kicking too many goals. To do so will require the will to be a world beater, initiative, enthusiasm and lots of money to get going. Above all a customer focused service will be a must.

It will be necessary to build the traffic based upon service, detail, punctuality, trust and reliability. No good saying 'this is the service that we are providing - take it or leave it' or turning up with an 1800 metre rake of 60+ year old RQSYs, RQKYs and other ancient dodgy gear and expecting to fill it on day one.

It can be done!
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

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.
james.au

All Dreams and wishful thinking. If they wanted to achieve this then why build single track through the mountains and if you single track existing lines that were double track then 24 hour turnaround is just a dream. Especially when you have to fit this traffic in with passenger traffic and any Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong freight traffic.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narrabri
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.

All Dreams and wishful thinking. If they wanted to achieve this then why build single track through the mountains and if you single track existing lines that were double track then 24 hour turnaround is just a dream. Especially when you have to fit this traffic in with passenger traffic and any Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong freight traffic.
simstrain
A 1700 km trip in less that 24 hours isn't wishful thinking, it's quite reasonable and is a significant decrease in the travel time between Melbourne and Brisbane. Where are they single tracking existing double track?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

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.

All Dreams and wishful thinking. If they wanted to achieve this then why build single track through the mountains and if you single track existing lines that were double track then 24 hour turnaround is just a dream. Especially when you have to fit this traffic in with passenger traffic and any Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong freight traffic.
A 1700 km trip in less that 24 hours isn't wishful thinking, it's quite reasonable and is a significant decrease in the travel time between Melbourne and Brisbane. Where are they single tracking existing double track?
Fatty
He's referring to the stretch between the level crossing at the up end of Junee and the Olympic Hwy bridge, maybe 1km away.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narrabri
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.

All Dreams and wishful thinking. If they wanted to achieve this then why build single track through the mountains and if you single track existing lines that were double track then 24 hour turnaround is just a dream. Especially when you have to fit this traffic in with passenger traffic and any Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong freight traffic.
A 1700 km trip in less that 24 hours isn't wishful thinking, it's quite reasonable and is a significant decrease in the travel time between Melbourne and Brisbane. Where are they single tracking existing double track?
He's referring to the stretch between the level crossing at the up end of Junee and the Olympic Hwy bridge, maybe 1km away.
duttonbay
Ahhh...right. It's an odd choice but I can't really see the double track section starting 1 km past Junee platform instead 200 metres past Junee platform making much of a difference operationally.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
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
Well then, may as well give up, shut the whole show down and save 10+b. Just cede it all to trucks.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'... Even the SG link to the Port of Brisbane is underutilised. ...'

This is but one of the classic NIMBYs that will militate against a truly successful Inland Rail 'landbridging' of overseas containers.

An efficient and competitive rail connection to the Port of Melbourne is a forever lost cause.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

The infrastructure, in isolation, can only contribute so much towards rail being competitive.

The operators (the PNs et al of this world) should end up with the ball at their feet for an entirely new game but somehow I cannot see them kicking too many goals. To do so will require the will to be a world beater, initiative, enthusiasm and lots of money to get going. Above all a customer focused service will be a must.

It will be necessary to build the traffic based upon service, detail, punctuality, trust and reliability. No good saying 'this is the service that we are providing - take it or leave it' or turning up with an 1800 metre rake of 60+ year old RQSYs, RQKYs and other ancient dodgy gear and expecting to fill it on day one.

It can be done!
YM-Mundrabilla
Unfortunately, with a notable exception, our rail operators are not noted for their entreprenarial ventures.
  Lockspike 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.

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
There was time not so long ago that I was postulating in this forum that Inland Rail may well fall over due to lack of interest, budget concerns, etc. With ScoMo now having enthusiasm for zero net emissions (WTI), things may change. I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

A 1700 km trip in less that 24 hours isn't wishful thinking, it's quite reasonable and is a significant decrease in the travel time between Melbourne and Brisbane. Where are they single tracking existing double track?
Fatty

Euroa station by the looks of the link in a previous post.

Trucks using the much shorter distance newell highway take 18 hours and 17 minutes to cover 1,666km's. This line is not going to allow higher speeds then 115km/h and with it being single track there will be many points where the train will be stopped at loops. Lets not forget that it will still have to climb out of Kagaru.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narrabri
A 1700 km trip in less that 24 hours isn't wishful thinking, it's quite reasonable and is a significant decrease in the travel time between Melbourne and Brisbane. Where are they single tracking existing double track?

Euroa station by the looks of the link in a previous post.

Trucks using the much shorter distance newell highway take 18 hours and 17 minutes to cover 1,666km's. This line is not going to allow higher speeds then 115km/h and with it being single track there will be many points where the train will be stopped at loops. Lets not forget that it will still have to climb out of Kagaru.
simstrain
There's no way that trucks do that route it 18 hours and 17 minutes.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
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.

All Dreams and wishful thinking. If they wanted to achieve this then why build single track through the mountains and if you single track existing lines that were double track then 24 hour turnaround is just a dream. Especially when you have to fit this traffic in with passenger traffic and any Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong freight traffic.
simstrain
Ok so lets think if there are 10 trains per day between Brisbane and Melbourne (which is more than there will be for a long time), that is one train every 170 kms one way, or one every 85kms two ways.  Do you need double track for one cross every 85kms?  Yes there will be other local traffic at either end but considering that MB/BM will probably get priority, single with passing lanes is going to be ok.  And why not wait and see where double track is needed once the thing is operating?  Nothing like incremental change to expand in a capitally sensible way.

ANd re NSW traffics that wont be going anywhere near the inland except to pickup grain.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Well then, may as well give up, shut the whole show down and save 10+b. Just cede it all to trucks.
arctic

Probably a good idea. Look at the freight line in Sydney and how it was the ARTC wonder project to increase rail freight traffic between Sydney and Melbourne and yet this has not been the case at all. Interstate freight numbers are declining each year.

Talk of moving traffic from the NW of NSW to POB is laughable. Newcastle is clearly the better option for grains and minerals as it is setup. The Inland route is clearly aimed to benefit SCT by diverting to Kagaru instead of taking alternative route options or even skipping Brisbane altogether and heading somewhere further north that would be much more viable.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

There was time not so long ago that I was postulating in this forum that Inland Rail may well fall over due to lack of interest, budget concerns, etc. With ScoMo now having enthusiasm for zero net emissions (WTI), things may change. I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit.
Lockspike
How are diesel freight trains going to help this. They still belch CO2 and so are you going to electrify the rail line from POB to the POM to achieve this goal?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!
YM-Mundrabilla

It should be but it won't. Why are freight companies moving away from trains in the first place? It isn't just because of time it is also because of goods being broken or destroyed in transit.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!

It should be but it won't. Why are freight companies moving away from trains in the first place? It isn't just because of time it is also because of goods being broken or destroyed in transit.
simstrain
Breakage and pilferage are virtually things of the past where 'everything' is either containerised or in vans loaded by Forwarding Agents.
Rail does little other than provide rolling stock and linehaul these days for most consumer commodities that it conveys.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narrabri
There was time not so long ago that I was postulating in this forum that Inland Rail may well fall over due to lack of interest, budget concerns, etc. With ScoMo now having enthusiasm for zero net emissions (WTI), things may change. I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit.
How are diesel freight trains going to help this. They still belch CO2 and so are you going to electrify the rail line from POB to the POM to achieve this goal?
simstrain
By diesel powered trains being more efficient than diesel powered trucks. I was just thinking today that they should put overhead in on the new builds so they don't have to got back and do it in 10 years.
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narrabri
'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!

It should be but it won't. Why are freight companies moving away from trains in the first place? It isn't just because of time it is also because of goods being broken or destroyed in transit.
simstrain
Seriously? Do you have any evidence for this assertion?
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

How are diesel freight trains going to help this. They still belch CO2 and so are you going to electrify the rail line from POB to the POM to achieve this goal?
simstrain
AIUI, electric double stack is being done in India, so it's technically feasible. I wouldn't be averse.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!

It should be but it won't. Why are freight companies moving away from trains in the first place? It isn't just because of time it is also because of goods being broken or destroyed in transit.
simstrain

OK let's see you come up with some evidence for that.

Couple of threads on RP with stories about rail booming at the moment especially East West, which may or may not be sustainable You seem happy to ignore these. Maybe they don't appease your particular shade of vitriol?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
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.
  bruce burrow Station Staff

'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!

It should be but it won't. Why are freight companies moving away from trains in the first place? It isn't just because of time it is also because of goods being broken or destroyed in transit.

"OK let's see you come up with some evidence for that".

I have not noted anything recently but there were many complaints reported some 16/17 years ago on goods damaged on the Adelaide-Darwin Railway eg - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2004-02-12/fears-aired-over-rail-goods-damage/134580

If i remember correctly , it was reported the damage was sufficient to put some carriers sending their wares by rail .
bingley hall
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'... I'd like to think that a modal shift from road to rail is low hanging fruit. ... '
It SHOULD be!

It should be but it won't. Why are freight companies moving away from trains in the first place? It isn't just because of time it is also because of goods being broken or destroyed in transit.

"OK let's see you come up with some evidence for that".

I have not noted anything recently but there were many complaints reported some 16/17 years ago on goods damaged on the Adelaide-Darwin Railway eg - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2004-02-12/fears-aired-over-rail-goods-damage/134580

If i remember correctly , it was reported the damage was sufficient to put some carriers sending their wares by rail .
bruce burrow
I suspect that RP has screwed up the previous post.

For ease of reference the ABC report from 2004 is quoted below:

'Freightlink has confirmed cargo being transported on the new Adelaide to Darwin railway is arriving damaged.

Freightlink says it is being caused by vibrations when the train uses the old section of track between Adelaide and Alice Springs.

Several companies have told the ABC some of their freight has arrived worthless because of damage.

Freightlink's Bruce McGowan says the company is looking at making mechanical changes to the train.

"We've had about 98 per cent reliability, so it's been very good and we just did have that isolated incident," he said.

"We've talked to our customers, we're obviously concerned about it...we're working through, we're changing...a few technical issues."

Allan Anderson owns a Darwin antique shop and says he is having second thoughts about using the train.

"[I am] extremely nervous about sending that container about half full of ceramic pots because we'd probably lose most if not all of them."


There were problems with the Alice Springs - Darwin leg when it opened. These were due, I understand, to tight gauge which shook hell out of both rolling stock and loading.

To relate these isolated almost 20 year old problems to interstate rail freight today is unrealistic.

Interesting that Freightlink blamed the old section from Tarcoola to Alice Springs despite it having operated successfully for years to Alice. Their new section north of Alice being, of course, like Mary Poppins - 'perfect in every way! Smile

Never believe anything that has been either officially confirmed, blamed or denied!

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