Inland railway Melbourne - Brisbane

 
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
* Andrew Robb has just participated in a press conference in Canberra, and told that Inland Rail, which was part of AusLink, (rebadged) is a goer.  

Cynical reporters pointed out that five elections have passed and no inland rail link exists. Robb replied saying that a lot of forecasting, modelling and costings have taken place and the project has moved up the ladder to be a goer from 2014 ... and the $30 billion will be there to finance it.

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  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
One assumes this is some of the billions that won't be spent on the national broadband network although I've never seen the Inland route costed at anywhere near $30 billion  Shocked
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
* Andrew Robb has just participated in a press conference in Canberra, and told that Inland Rail, which was part of AusLink, (rebadged) is a goer.  

Cynical reporters pointed out that five elections have passed and no inland rail link exists. Robb replied saying that a lot of forecasting, modelling and costings have taken place and the project has moved up the ladder to be a goer from 2014 ... and the $30 billion will be there to finance it.
"574M"


Why Is the cost so excessive ?

The missing links  

Moree to Charlton (Toowoomba)

Stage one, to link Queensland to the South via Inland rail.
(340 km's at a cost of about $1 Billion)

The dual gauge corridor from Charlton to Wiggins Island (Gladstone)

Mostly to link to booming coal mines to the new coal port of Wiggins Island and link the booming Gladstone economy to the National Standard Gauge Network. (scope to dual gauge the North Coast line to Townsville even Cairns)

Then there Is the link from Charlton to Acacia Ridge / Fishermans Island
The plan that the Queensland Government drags It's feet on and always gets put In the to hard basket.

Improvements to the route between Narrabi and Parkes (re routing via Coonamble)

Then of cause Is the link between Gladstone (Moura system) to Tennant Creek via Mount Isa.
They don't all have to be done at once !!
  M636C Minister for Railways

Is it worth pointing out that the Mount Isa Line rehabilitation of the 1960s originally included conversion to standard gauge and that the Moura Short Line was also intended to be standard gauge.

The QR has evaded any conversion to standard gauge nearly as well as they sabotaged the Australian Standard Garratt by insisting on unrealistic weights and minimum curve radii.

When they had Beyer Peacock build their own Garratts, they were able to weigh much more than the ASGs and have a much more limited route availability....

Don't hold your breath while QR plan the conversion of any existing line to standard or dual gauge..

M636C
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Inland Rail Finally Out Of The Station

...Costing approximately $4.7 billion and taking over eight years, construction of the line will involve upgrading 430 kilometres of existing track and laying 600 kilometres of new track...

http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/aa/releases/2011/May/AA072_2011.htm
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
cootanee, that is just fantastic news.

I look forward to travelling along it one day soon.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
Call me cynical, but they still haven't committed to actually building it yet have they?

There is good news in that release though, with upgrades to SYD-BNE, Broken Hill-Parkes and Mel-Adl.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Call me cynical, but they still haven't committed to actually building it yet have they?

There is good news in that release though, with upgrades to SYD-BNE, Broken Hill-Parkes and Mel-Adl.
"simonl"


I'm certainly a realist and don't expect anything to actually happen for a few years, but at least there's more money now to be spent.

Also a big plus are the current (evolutionary) restoration and upgrades to existing track such as Cootamundra-Parkes which provide benefits now whilst supporting a future inland link.  

The plan is also achievable unlike a completely green fields approach or something like  HSR.  Wink
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
The inland railway got a mention in the 2013 budget and now the Nats are ... we'll see if they do better than planting a tree Exclamation

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/inland-rail-likely-to-trump-cross-river-under-abbott-20130519-2just.html
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
The inland railway got a mention in the 2013 budget and now the Nats are ... we'll see if they do better than planting a tree Exclamation

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/inland-rail-likely-to-trump-cross-river-under-abbott-20130519-2just.html
cootanee

Good research by that newspaper .. http://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif
To quote... "However this project schedule estimates the cost is $12.7 billion."
They are looking at Melbourne - Brisbane Inland Rail Alignment Study - that study cost $12,744,626

(i.e.  that STUDY now COMPLETED was $12.7 MILLION)
http://www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/projects/ProjectDeta...

Wouldn't describe this as a development - rather Truss has to keep the Nats constituency excited http://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
4.7 billion , what sorts of projects have we had in recent years that came to around 4.7 billion ? That would about cover turning the fist sod and the associated banquet .
Probably throw a few adds on the box and wrap them up in September .
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Over a decade since that famous (infamous Laughing ) tree planting.

LNP did SFA since all through the 'good times'. Labor announced $300m for preconstruction works a few years back and that hasn't changed in the current budget (how much actually spent!). Now Truss but probably at deflection making it easier to can the Brissy project.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yeah well "Scarlett" and Dud gave money away to head off a GFC we weren't really feeling and then proceeded to kill off lots of businesses large and small , read LOTs of jobs . Yeah they wre really interested in the lil battler . Then we have to support 40,000 uninvited "guests" at OUR expense and NO we weren't asked first . Extortion .
Neither party has thrown large amounts of money at large scale rail projects but if the current one was to where do you suspect it would come from ?
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Yeah well "Scarlett" and Dud gave money away to head off a GFC we weren't really feeling and then proceeded to kill off lots of businesses large and small , read LOTs of jobs . Yeah they wre really interested in the lil battler . Then we have to support 40,000 uninvited "guests" at OUR expense and NO we weren't asked first . Extortion .
Neither party has thrown large amounts of money at large scale rail projects but if the current one was to where do you suspect it would come from ?
BDA
Obviously a balanced opinion...

It's a pity the LNP wasn't in when the GFC hit but then Labor does seem to have lousy timing when it comes to winning elections Laughing
Regardless neither mob are looking likely to build this thing anytime soon, even with a GST on everything. In the meantime maintain the rage - it's probably good for years more Wink.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Firstly I'm not a member of any political party because I vote on policy not party . IMO anyone who votes blindly for any party is an incurable fool because they can all perform badly at times .
We will never know how it would have been if lil Jonny Rotten and Costellerol were still at the helm in the GFC era . They shot themselves in the foot with the workchoices legislation they attempted to force down everyones hole . It seemed financial stability was not good enough and they pushed their agenda too hard . It would be easy for me to say that they wouldn't have handed out free money for people to pay the plastic or the roof off with rather than put cash into circulation but that would only be speculation .
The fiscal conservative changed many things and let lots of costly mouths in to feed and support , not an easy blunder for any government to fix ...
It was deemed he lost his way and Scarlet of bottle and blade took the reins and together with the Greens and Independents formed a minority government . The Greens were suddenly in a position to blackmail the government who were forced to put up the carbon dioxide tax knowing it was not what the vast majority wanted . This is how democracy goes feral and how minority groups like the rabid mutt eco Nazis get to force their agenda on an unwilling majority .
I despise the current Government but I'm under no illusion about what could happen if team rabbit get in with a controlling majority and go down the same path of ruling rather than governing .
History has shown the governments here lose elections rather than win them and I don't think it's going to be any different this time around . History will again prove that Labor botched the finances though admittedly they were dragged down by ratbag extremist socialists masquerading as conservationists .
I would like to think that the Country Party has a more balanced view on all the matters that count than Labors running dogs have and I think we're going to find out in the near future .
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
..
I dispise the current Government ...
BDA

No kidding Laughing

Sorry can't get that worked up about either.

As for your fair weather capitalist / foul weather socialist minority party, doubt they'll get any further with this project because they don't control those knitting needles.
  M636C Minister for Railways

This proposal started off as a pork barrel to roll through every Country Party electorate in NSW.

The initial study was quite reasonable, and if I recall correctly recommended a new line from around Warwick to a point on the existing standard gauge line. This resulted in a line that could be built relatively cheaply, although it's not clear that there would be enough traffic from Brisbane to Melbourne to justify it (since most trains now convey traffic to Sydney).

When the Queensland Government got seriously involved, it became a Trojan horse for Federal funding to completely rebuild the existing line up the range to Toowoomba which adds nothing to Melbourne Brisbane traffic apart from a longer slower journey but stands to greatly reduce costs for Aurizon's export coal traffic.

As to politics, I think Abbott will win the lower house in September but will never control the Senate which will block everything he tries to do. Of course, he isn't going to fund any urban rail schemes, but has said he'll fund (some) freight rail, so the Country Party Pork might get through if the Greens like it.

M636C
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
This proposal started off as a pork barrel to roll through every Country Party electorate in NSW.

The initial study was quite reasonable, and if I recall correctly recommended a new line from around Warwick to a point on the existing standard gauge line. This resulted in a line that could be built relatively cheaply, although it's not clear that there would be enough traffic from Brisbane to Melbourne to justify it (since most trains now convey traffic to Sydney).

When the Queensland Government got seriously involved, it became a Trojan horse for Federal funding to completely rebuild the existing line up the range to Toowoomba which adds nothing to Melbourne Brisbane traffic apart from a longer slower journey but stands to greatly reduce costs for Aurizon's export coal traffic.

M636C
Political motivations aside, the latest analysis of route options that I've seen (the 2009 Inland Rail Alignment Study) had a slightly lower capital cost for the line "via Toowoomba" (or near enough to it) than via Warwick with a penalty of a slightly longer transit time (about 20 minutes).  Given the potential for access revenue from the coal traffic or corridor cost sharing, selection of the Toowoomba option seems pretty reasonable to me for this stage of the project.  

The broader, previous study to that (the 2006 North South Rail Corridor study) came to similar conclusions about capital cost and preferred alignment (via Toowoomba) for corridors that required a range crossing in that area.  I see mention in the government report that some of the privately funded studies had similar conclusions.
  simonl Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane
If they went via Warwick would the coalies be able to use the line or would it be too much of a deviation?
  5915 Chief Commissioner

If they went via Warwick would the coalies be able to use the line or would it be too much of a deviation?


Would add around 80 km and possibly require an additional deviation around Toowoomba City to  avoid transit through the CBD.

5915
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If they went via Warwick would the coalies be able to use the line or would it be too much of a deviation?


Would add around 80 km and possibly require an additional deviation around Toowoomba City to  avoid transit through the CBD.

5915
5915
Which traffic would eb most disadvantaged, about 6-8 return freighters + maybe 1 or 2 grain trains to the south per day or 12 or more coalies + what other western traffic could use the line including traffic from Toowoomba itself. By tonnes alone the line must go via Toowoomba. The advantge is you merge two lots of traffic and justify more or complete duplication. In addition open the door for a commuter service which all on twin DG tracks is viable and practical.

I think going via Toowoomba gets the most bang for your buck and and more likely Qld govt $ will enter the project. Go via Warwick and the contribution will be mostly likely be close to zero.

The time and 80km lost to interstate traffic can be recouped through other measures.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Obviously a balanced opinion...

It's a pity the LNP wasn't in when the GFC hit but then Labor does seem to have lousy timing when it comes to winning elections Laughing
Regardless neither mob are looking likely to build this thing anytime soon, even with a GST on everything. In the meantime maintain the rage - it's probably good for years more Wink.
cootanee
GST has no bearing as its a fed tax handed over to the states. The inland railway is very much a National Project as it improves the logsitics of the Eastern states and to some degree SA and WA. There is benefit for intratstate freight, especially in NSW, but NSW will also loose grain freight from the NW to Port of Brisbane and rightlfully so as its much closer.

To get this project up is going to require a pool of resources as it will take a number of years to build and probably a bit more to start deliverying the full value. The NT is a good example. Started on 1 train per day but took at least 5 years for new to rail customers to either start up and/or transfer. If this project costs $10B, the feds will probably need to find 25-35%, Qld 10-15%, NSW 15-20% and Vic about 10-15% and the rest private. Profits initially go to the private sector and after a certain point spill over to the various govts in the same contribution ratio.

I think Howard tried to get private sector interest by his comments on it being a "bankable" project, but alas no bites and the recent string of Private sector failures in road and rail infrastructure in Australia won't have helped things since. Hence why I think the govts are basically going to have to coff up x many funds upfront and enable the private sector to enjoy the intial profits. Other options also include for example the Qld govt perhaps agreeing to provide a commuter system to guarentee some additional income from day 1.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
So both sides are crowing about $300m, still leaves $4+ billion to go Rolling Eyes

"First conceived over a century ago, the initial funding committed in Labor's fourth budget to the Inland Rail Link project - $300 million including $30 million in 2014-15 - will allow the detailed planning work and necessary lands resumptions to begin in late 2014 along the corridor identified last year."

http://www.minister.infrastructure.gov.au/aa/releases/2011/May/aa072_2011.aspx

"Nationals Leader Warren Truss said $300 million would be allocated by the Coalition to finalise plans and start delivering a rail line which will create a new future for freight movement in Australia’s eastern states."

http://www.nationals.org.au/News/LatestNews/tabid/94/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/8528/Inland-rail--the-future-of-freight.aspx
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Personally, I think any IRR is going to suffer from the same problems as the existing line: there won't be enough traffic to justify either construction of a low operating cost alignment nor adequate maintenance.

Any new line is going to need to deal with the Toowoomba ranges and the reports are fairly ambivalent or even evasive about how to deal with this.  But basically there will need to be a trade off between construction costs and operational efficiencies.  It's the same decision process which saw Queensland go with 3'6" in the first place.

To me the inland line fails the "what problem are we solving here?" test.  The main "problem" the new line solves is that the existing one runs through Sydney's shared perway.   If that's the main problem, then a shorter/cheaper/better route for the IRR would be Picton-St Mary's-Wiseman's Ferry-Maitland.

If the IRR goes ahead, it'll leave the NCL with little traffic other than CountryLink - who will no doubt be expected to shoulder more of the costs of operating that line - which I don;t think is going to do much for CL's long term prospects.Personally, I think any IRR is going to suffer from the same problems as the existing line: there won't be enough traffic to justify either construction of a low operating cost alignment nor adequate maintenance.
djf01


The inland railway studies list all the pros and cons including implications and cost differences including various hybrids involving the the NCL. The inland route still came out ahead.

A cross Sydney bypass freight line was most recently covered in the July 2012 NSFC Strategic Review. It's hardly a cheap option either considering the combined cost of the SSFL and those few NSFC projects is almost $2 billion
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
The inland railway studies list all the pros and cons including implications and cost differences including various hybrids involving the the NCL. The inland route still came out ahead.

A cross Sydney bypass freight line was most recently covered in the July 2012 NSFC Strategic Review. It's hardly a cheap option either considering the combined cost of the SSFL and those few NSFC projects is almost $2 billion
cootanee
People are reading far more into this than is actually there.
Both Govts have "supported" the building of the Inland line since the Howard era.
What "supported" however seems to mean is that they want the line to be built, but want someone else to pay for it.
A bit like the model the Alice Springs to Darwin used.
Putting up funds to show that something seems to be happening is always the start to see if any private sector capital can then be leveraged from the Govt investment.
You will know the line is serious , when both the NSW and QLD Govts publickly show their support as well, as without their support it dont happen.
Why doesnt ARTC pay for the line by borrowing the money, and then recovering the costs via Track access charges.
The NBN is being built on borrowed money borrowed by NBNCO.
Its not budgeted for.
After the election, regardless of who wins , dont expect to hear any more about this line for another 3 years.

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