$200m does not get you much these days ?
How sad a state we have become.
That money should convert half the state.
$200 million should buy you 800,000 concrete sleepers in the track and at 1,600 sleepers/km that equates to around 500 km of track.
Broken Hill is a Lead Zinc mine, Port Pirie is a Lead/Zinc smelter, mostly lead. Zinc concentrate is shipped to Hobart mostly Zinic smelter, the same company owns a lead/zinc mine in western Tas and I think you can join dots on this one and hence you can see the connection why its railed to Adelaide, has nothing to do with being close.
As an interesting aside until 1969 the rail link Broken Hill-Port Pirie was part of the SAR narrow gauge network - there was no connection to Adelaide. The mid-north in SA consisted of three different operational gauges for a long time; it's really cool to see the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide and SA represented in all three gauges.
Off topic, but a very interesting part of Australian History......
The SAR NG line only ever reached the state border with NSW. The NSW state government would NOT allow SAR to build the line through to Broken Hill, they wanted the ore to go east. So a Private company was set up and built a NG line via Silverton to the SAR railhead at Cockburn on the state border. The Silverton Tramway Company (STC) operated this 'tramway' and hence the ore went west to Port Pirie, thus circumnavigating the NSW govs attempts to stop cross border traffic.
This is how I understand it also from easing the history books. What has always been a mystery to me is was the line from Cockburn to Port Pirie NG all the way?
Because Railfans think all rail projects have merit,
No matter how costly they are or what they achieve.
Most rail fans would cheer if any new rail line was built , regardless of where they went too.
Most people in society have a pet interest in something, and want more Govt spending on their pet interest
but no one cares about where the money comes from , least of all railfans.
Unfortunately many railfans see the words "Reality check" as a criticism.
I do not know about all Rail Proposals but standardising the Mildura line has a lot of Merit as it will join a vast area of Australia into the National Common Gauge. That alone cannot be a bad thing. I do not look into Road Projects but I would be interested to know if there are so many detractors from "Road Fans" as there are Rail Fans who seem to be against Rail Projects?
Simply what is wrong with Standardization?
Which route is the Mildura passenger train now supposed to take? Via Ararat or Maryborough?
Why doesnt guage converting the Swan Hill line or the Warnambool line have any Merit, whatever Merit is.
Are we not still using non gauge convertible concrete sleepers today?
I think the Victorian Budget has specified gauge convertible concrete if they procure any for the Mildura line; I believe that they might use them on level crossings etc but in general the line will remain majority timber sleepers for the time being? As for other projects like the suburban network; they're non-convertible but it's the one place likely to remain broad gauge for a long time to come.
As for Regional Fast Rail; Labor could argue that they didn't foresee that standard gauge spreading across the state but the reality is their own policy documents in 2000-01 called for the entire country network to be progressively standardised so again - the decision not to use convertible sleepers in 2003-05 was completely stupid. I know there were a lot of businesses in the regions (potential freight customers) unhappy with the lost opportunity for easy conversion in the future.
From memory and I will be happy to be corrected a couple of years ago the South Geelong Tunnel was relaid with non convertible concrete sleepers.
I have mentioned on earlier posts when we convert the track to Mildura how does the Waun Ponds Cement hoppers get there?
South Australia as mentioned above has laid gauge convertible sleepers in the Suburban Area. It is of no consequence if the track is converted or not but at least the possibility is there. It is called forward planning and making provision for possible outcomes.
What was the announcement?
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