Stating the obvious re rail haulage

 
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
http://www.cqnews.com.au/news/rural-freight-off-the-rails-freight-shambles-must-/2349580/
Expost

The coal operations should have been separated from rural based freight long ago.

How many years now have we seen annual reports from QR/Aurizon stating increased tonnages, meanwhile another branch line and/or regular regional freight service became road based. Peanuts, Ethanol, apples, sugar syrup/Molasses, some grain, some long haul cattle, fuel, even some long haul container all lost to road so that in many cases more coal can run.

I agree much of the regional infrastructure and not just the tracks is grossly outdated. I looked at a few grain silo sidings on the central line down to the Springsure terminus. Some the track layouts for some of these silos is a joke. Meanwhile on the Moura network (old and new). We have grain silos off the new Moura Short line on the original tracks that require the use of light rolling stock and additional track to be maintained. Why wasn't one or two new super silos built on the Moura Short line? I know the grain in this area has reduced, but still if the Central Line silos was also upgraded you could have 1000m long grain trains with +20t axle loads.

I don't think anyone expect rail to haul a B-double load of freight anymore as the complete train load and most shippers should be offering rake loads. The proposed new Emerald inland terminal is the right approach to something that should have happened in the 80/90's. Lets hope they get it right and have the foresight to expand. Certainly there should be one on each the Western and Southern Western lines and likewise My Isa Line.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I wonder about the relevance of the photo in that article! Yep, rural freight has always been hauled in EMU sets folks... Rolling Eyes
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
... freight has always been hauled in EMU sets...

That's because they don't drive, according to some media tarts...
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The coal operations should have been separated from rural based freight long ago.

How many years now have we seen annual reports from QR/Aurizon stating increased tonnages, meanwhile another branch line and/or regular regional freight service became road based. Peanuts, Ethanol, apples, sugar syrup/Molasses, some grain, some long haul cattle, fuel, even some long haul container all lost to road so that in many cases more coal can run.

I agree much of the regional infrastructure and not just the tracks is grossly outdated. I looked at a few grain silo sidings on the central line down to the Springsure terminus. Some the track layouts for some of these silos is a joke. Meanwhile on the Moura network (old and new). We have grain silos off the new Moura Short line on the original tracks that require the use of light rolling stock and additional track to be maintained. Why wasn't one or two new super silos built on the Moura Short line? I know the grain in this area has reduced, but still if the Central Line silos was also upgraded you could have 1000m long grain trains with +20t axle loads.

I don't think anyone expect rail to haul a B-double load of freight anymore as the complete train load and most shippers should be offering rake loads. The proposed new Emerald inland terminal is the right approach to something that should have happened in the 80/90's. Lets hope they get it right and have the foresight to expand. Certainly there should be one on each the Western and Southern Western lines and likewise My Isa Line.
"RTT_Rules"


Graincorp has just announced they'll be building a new Primary grain terminal on the Central Line east of Emerald. On the ABC yesterday the head of Graincorp's Queensland operations said the site was selected to take advantage of the heavy haul axle loads available on that line. At the moment this part of the Central Line is still only 20-tonne axle loads, while to the north the Primary Mt McLaren site is on the 26.5-tonne Blair Athol line - although the Mackay Harbour branch the Mt McLaren trains use is still only 15.75-tonnes at the moment. Aside from that, it appears Graincorp Queensland want to/intend to use higher axle load rollingstock in Central Queensland - Moura will be the Primary site for the Dawson and Callide Valleys, although the silo complex is just off the 26.5-tonne mainline. In the south a new Primary site is intended for Dalby...and there are some whispers around that the Western line will finally be seeing axle load upgrades from the current 16.0-tonnes to something higher.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
In the south a new Primary site is intended for Dalby...and there are some whispers around that the Western line will finally be seeing axle load upgrades from the current 16.0-tonnes to something higher.
Sulla1

Hmm, I've heard nothing about this. I wonder where the site is to be located? Possibly an expansion of the existing Dalby West silos site which already has a balloon loop in place? That might mean an upgrade for at least a short section of the Glenmorgan line! Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Graincorp has just announced they'll be building a new Primary grain terminal on the Central Line east of Emerald. On the ABC yesterday the head of Graincorp's Queensland operations said the site was selected to take advantage of the heavy haul axle loads available on that line. At the moment this part of the Central Line is still only 20-tonne axle loads, while to the north the Primary Mt McLaren site is on the 26.5-tonne Blair Athol line - although the Mackay Harbour branch the Mt McLaren trains use is still only 15.75-tonnes at the moment. Aside from that, it appears Graincorp Queensland want to/intend to use higher axle load rollingstock in Central Queensland - Moura will be the Primary site for the Dawson and Callide Valleys, although the silo complex is just off the 26.5-tonne mainline. In the south a new Primary site is intended for Dalby...and there are some whispers around that the Western line will finally be seeing axle load upgrades from the current 16.0-tonnes to something higher.
Sulla1

Thanks. Looks like we may see a fleet or even just a rake of modern high capacity grain wagons exceeding 600m in length running on the CQ rails within a few years.

Emerald already has a grain silo on the Springsure spur of the Triangle, I assume they want a bigger one and this is probably old and outdated.

Between the silo near Dingo and the one at Springsure, I couldn't work out which had the most out dated track infrastructure. Dingo silo tracks have been lifted in recent years by the looks of things so someone saw common sense. Where else in Australia does a grain train need to be broken down into less than a hand full of wagons to be filled. At Springsure, the triangle a few hundred metres back has a longer leg on the shunt neck than the two shunt necks past the silo and they have been twisted around to make them as long as possible.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Graincorp's planned Primary rail served sites in Queensland for 2016 are

Mt McLaren - Blair Athol line
Capella - Clermont branch
New site near Emerald - Central Line
Moura - Moura short line
Roma West - Western Line
Dalby West - Western line
Miles - Western line
Meandarra - Meandara branch
The Gums - Meandara branch
New site near Toowoomba
Brookstead - Millmerran branch
Thallon - South Western line
Talwood - South Western Line
Goondiwindi East - South Western Line
Goondiwindi West - South Western Line
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
If Graincorp abandon existing terminals as they have in other states there exists the potential for smaller grain handlers to move into the business.  It is important infrastructure graincorp does not want to use is made available for other users and handlers.  Best way to provide some competition.

Do Graincorp run any of their own rail services in Queensland and to where does most of the grain travel?  Through which port?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If Graincorp abandon existing terminals as they have in other states there exists the potential for smaller grain handlers to move into the business. It is important infrastructure graincorp does not want to use is made available for other users and handlers. Best way to provide some competition.

Do Graincorp run any of their own rail services in Queensland and to where does most of the grain travel? Through which port?
bevans

PN is the only "foreigner" operating in Qld on the skinny gauge and they don't move grain so no.

The issue with many of the soon to be abandoned grain silo's is as I stated above, the track connections and yard layouts are often very outdated and any operator would have to modernise to lower their handling costs,if sufficient room which for some there is not. But also they are stuck up light branch lines that are now services suspended or will be shortly.

For CQ, all the above mentioned location the rail operator can take advantage of the heavy coal train infrastructure. So trains can be heavy, long and move quickly and without the cost of being the only operator of the line. The exception is Moura. However this is not far, I think 5-10km, beyond the coal line and potentially the track can be cheaply beefed up to take the heavy grain trains at slow speed.

The southern and SW lines are still trapped in the 1960's infrastructure, but the weak spot is the available slots on the range. grain goes by road because of rail congestion. If the feds recent announcement on the Inland is taken to read that the new line over the range will proceed within 3-5 years, then this changes the things. Maybe trains can run longer if traffic on the SW is light enough to prevent conflicting movements. In the future I suspect the Inland will wipe out NG services and we will see all this traffic convert to SG.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

If Graincorp abandon existing terminals as they have in other states there exists the potential for smaller grain handlers to move into the business.  It is important infrastructure graincorp does not want to use is made available for other users and handlers.  Best way to provide some competition.

Do Graincorp run any of their own rail services in Queensland and to where does most of the grain travel?  Through which port?
"bevans"


Aurizon operates take or pay trains for Graincorp using Aurizon rollingstock and crews. Unlike other states, Graincorp (or any other grain handler) has never attempted to secure new grain rollingstock for the QLD network, leaving Aurizon to supply an ex-QR fleet of wagons converted from coal hoppers in the mid-ninties...many of which were converted back to coal in the mid-naughties. As it stands, I believe Aurizon has five 38-wagon grain sets for QLD, two of which are working out of Mackay, one is stored at Ayr (for reasons unexplained) and the other two are stored at Toowoomba (I think).

Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane (Fisherman Islands) are the grain ports for QLD, but Mackay and Brisbane are the only ones seeing rail deliveries these days. Grain from Mt McLaren usually goes to Mackay but has been travelling to Brisbane occasionally this year. Grain from the Western and South Western lines goes to Brisbane, but the Darling Downs season has been so bad this year I don't believe any southern grain trains have operated during 2014.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

PN is the only "foreigner" operating in Qld on the skinny gauge and they don't move grain so no.

The issue with many of the soon to be abandoned grain silo's is as I stated above, the track connections and yard layouts are often very outdated and any operator would have to modernise to lower their handling costs,if sufficient room which for some there is not. But also they are stuck up light branch lines that are now services suspended or will be shortly.

For CQ, all the above mentioned location the rail operator can take advantage of the heavy coal train infrastructure. So trains can be heavy, long and move quickly and without the cost of being the only operator of the line. The exception is Moura. However this is not far, I think 5-10km, beyond the coal line and potentially the track can be cheaply beefed up to take the heavy grain trains at slow speed.

The southern and SW lines are still trapped in the 1960's infrastructure, but the weak spot is the available slots on the range. grain goes by road because of rail congestion. If the feds recent announcement on the Inland is taken to read that the new line over the range will proceed within 3-5 years, then this changes the things. Maybe trains can run longer if traffic on the SW is light enough to prevent conflicting movements. In the future I suspect the Inland will wipe out NG services and we will see all this traffic convert to SG.
"RTT_Rules"


The situation at Moura is getting even better, the old branch from Moura to the Moura mine - where it connects to the Moura short line - is being upgraded for the Baralaba Mine balloon loop, which will put 26.5-tonne axle load track within 3km of the existing grain terminal.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Aurizon operates take or pay trains for Graincorp using Aurizon rollingstock and crews. Unlike other states, Graincorp (or any other grain handler) has never attempted to secure new grain rollingstock for the QLD network, leaving Aurizon to supply an ex-QR fleet of wagons converted from coal hoppers in the mid-ninties...many of which were converted back to coal in the mid-naughties. As it stands, I believe Aurizon has five 41-wagon grain sets for QLD, two of which are working out of Mackay, one is stored at Ayr (for reasons unexplained) and the other two are stored at Toowoomba (I think).

Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane (Fishermans Island) are the grain ports for QLD, but Mackay and Brisbane are the only ones seeing rail deliveries these days. Grain from Mt McLaren usually goes to Mackay but has been travelling to Brisbane occasionally this year. Grain from the Western and South Western lines goes to Brisbane, but the Darling Downs season has been so bad this year I don't believe any southern grain trains have operated during 2014.
Sulla1

Not quite correct, I think. Grain does go by rail from Emerald east. I doubt this goes to Mackay or Brisbane. I am happy to be corrected. There is also a rake of grain wagons at Nagoa.

Grain traffic, in fact, AFAIK no traffic, has not traversed the Springsure branch from Wurba Jcn to Springsure in years. It has a red board at the points, and is boarded as 15.75 tonne traffic only.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I believe Aurizon has five 41-wagon grain sets for QLD
Sulla1

Grain trains on the Downs are always 38 wagon sets, not sure about elsewhere.
  F4PhantomRAAF Locomotive Driver

Aurizon was being honest.

It is cheaper to use trucks for this kind of thing that isn't making a profit any more.

In Western Australia they got rid of the small stuff years ago that had you out shunting on the ground.

You aren't going to buy and operate a locomotive and wagons if it will be cheaper to contract to trucking.

This is such a no brainer.

The thing with Queensland is that it is a little behind the times. Queensland Rail used to be supported by the Government making it subsidized.

Now protection is gone it is reflecting the market environment.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Not quite correct, I think. Grain does go by rail from Emerald east. I doubt this goes to Mackay or Brisbane. I am happy to be corrected. There is also a rake of grain wagons at Nagoa.

Grain traffic, in fact, AFAIK no traffic, has not traversed the Springsure branch from Wurba Jcn to Springsure in years. It has a red board at the points, and is boarded as 15.75 tonne traffic only.
"Expost"


Grain from Emerald has gone to Mackay and Brisbane via the North Coast Line in the past, not sure about this year though. It seems very unlikely Springsure or Gindie will see another grain train. According to GrainCorp, Gladstone remains available for rail unloading.
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Trends in grain transport in the south that have seen reduction in railed volumes:

1. greater volumes direct to end-user (cattle feedlots, poultry, pigs, milling)
2. growth in containerised grain - remains a rail opportunity with modest investment required
3. focus on bulk coal taking up slots in network choke points (Toowoomba range)
4. increased on-farm storage capacity and decline of receival network infrastructure
5. export market deregulation (many more players splitting volumes away from statutory now corporatised grain handlers such as Grainco)
6. increased capabilities of road transport and improvements in road network infrastructure
7. drought particularly in the '90s and early 2000's leading to marked reductions in freight task, decline in income required to maintain receival sites and convenience of transporting lower volumes by road.

Could add more but should add the growth in volumes available to road cannot increase indefinitely even with proposed improvements to road infrastructure and port receival facilities.  There is a limit to how much road capacity can be soaked up with bulk road transport where access is through an urban road network.

5915
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Gindie very unlikely, as the points at the southern end of the grain siding has been removed. And as I said, Wurba to Springsure hasn't seen any traffic for years. The rake at Nagoa was approx. 35 wagons. Best I could do whilst driving past today.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

A loaded grain train ran from Emerald to Mackay yesterday with two 2300s - apparently a semi-regular runner at the moment. I'm guessing that should mean the grain rake spotted at Nogoa was one of the Mackay sets.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Empty grainy ran west through Blackwater at approx. 0130 hrs today. FRED at Saggitarius stated 39 vehicles. I only noted one loco, but cant say that with absolute conviction, as it had passed us before I took a lot of notice. That would make 38 wagons.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A loaded grain train ran from Emerald to Mackay yesterday with two 2300s - apparently a semi-regular runner at the moment. I'm guessing that should mean the grain rake spotted at Nogoa was one of the Mackay sets.
Sulla1

As a Vic with an interest in QR, would the grain train from Emerald to Mackay have gone via Rockhampton or Clermont Question

Mike.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Rocky
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Rocky
Expost

is the non-coal section of the Emerald to Clemont track still in use?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

is the non-coal section of the Emerald to Clemont track still in use?
RTT_Rules


Emerald to Clermont sees three cattle trains a week in each direction. Capella is also intended to be one of GrainCorp's Primary grain depots so grain trains are likely now/or in the future too. As far as I know the section between Clermont and the Blair Athol line is available but was/is being used for wagon storage by Aurizon.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
On Railpage today in news aurizons profit forecasting.

Aurizon have lots of scope for traffic growth in non coal. They have money to Invest as rolling stock to implement these services.

Why have they allowed services to deteriorate ?

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