What is this tempy loader for Mineral Sands being talked about on here? Is this in addition to the current loader on the Hopeteun line?I would presume so.
That is a no brainer. Maryborough. It's on the Mildura line for a start, and that is where all of the freight is coming from. The only thorn in the side is Ballarat and the V/Line services to Melbourne, as these will stay broad gauge. This can easily be solved if/when the line through to Ararat is standardised, by moving all V/Line operations to the northern side of the station, and having anything heading north or west of Ballarat use the southern side of the station, and the centre road.The difficulty in the first phase is going to be mixing BG and SG, and using the Maryborough-Ararat lines has that interface occurring at each end. It also has about a 10km grade, much of it at 1-in-50, against loaded trains, followed by a similar distance down 1-in-50 grades. The grades book also shows the alignment has curves down to 20 chains, although I have no idea what impact that might have on speed. You would also need a triangular junction to be built at Ararat, with the BG line running through it somehow, to remove the need for trains to reverse directions at Ararat.
Your Hopetoun proposal doesn't exist, and hasn't even hit paper in recent times as far as I am aware (has it even been studied by a government body in the last 10 years?). Have you thought about the red tape, and some of the costs involved be in constructing the line you're proposing?For the record, Litchfield-Minyip has been studied before - as your weasel-wording ("the last 10 years") suggests.
You still have no guarantee that the soil doesn't shift either. I think you will find that there are far more costs involved in building that railway, than what there would be in overhauling, and upgrading a line which is already in place.
So what you are proposing is that an empty grain train has to run from North Geelong to Murtoa; then up the Minyip, and across to Donald (locos run around, and pump the brakes up); then back down to Dunolly (locos run around, and pump up brakes again), and up the branch to either Sea Lake or Manangatang, and return loaded that way? That's going to make it easier for road transport to compete, and you're effectively adding a lot more time with shunting, and 265km of un-needed kilometres (one way only), simply for a train to get from North Geelong to Korong Vale, compared with the existing route via Maryborough and Ballarat, where little to no shunting is required.Fine, consolidate stages 2 and 3. Going via Ararat-Maryborough is still the long way around compared to going via Maryborough-Ballarat to get to Geelong.
If the train must go to Portland (which none of the grain trains radiating off of the Mildura line do)They don't go to Portland because they bloody well can't at the moment, for reasons that you should be aware of already. Trans-shipment isn't a proper solution.
The world wonders why dual gauge keeps coming up. Forget it. You will never get an audience if you're seriously considering dual gauge to be an option on the mainline, as it is too restrictive operationally, and rail operators (V/Line, ARTC et al) absolutely hate it. You might put it in as an interim measure in Ballarat yard, but only to facilitate standard gauge trains being able to access the Maryborough line.It's only a problem for BG services. Most services would be SG - all the freight and any passenger services (should that happen). I'm only saying make it dual gauge because of the need to get access to the Ballarat North Workshops for BG rollingstock transfers. If that's not an issue due to track duplication on the Ballarat-Melbourne line or whatever, then make it SG-only. Doesn't bother me.
For the record, Litchfield-Minyip has been studied before - as your weasel-wording ("the last 10 years") suggests.For the record...? No weasel words from me either.
Litchfield-Minyip was studied in the early 1980s as part of V/Line's grain network revitalisation reportThat's very current. How much added cost, and red tape is there now compared to the 1980's, and have you factored that in with your opinions?
it was discounted because the Adelaide-Melbourne line was still broad gauge and there was no export mineral sands traffic to Portland.The mineral sands traffic is transported from Hopetoun by rail currently. There is talk of a new loader being constructed at Tempy, to get the load off of the roads. In effect, this could mean that Illuka simply start operating their train from Tempy once the Mildura line is standardised, and the Hopetoun site will close. Tempy is a fair bit closer to the mining sites than Hopetoun as well, so this would make sense and help minimise road travel. It would also void the need for any sort of connection to Hopetoun.
It has also been studied in the 2014 Murray Basin Rail Project report and will be featured in the forthcoming business case that will appear this year.Where can one access the report then? I have looked, and cannot find it anywhere.
The State Government has invested $30 million towards stage one of the project which involves a package of essential maintenance works of the Mildura freight line, between Yelta and Maryborough.My bolding. At no point does it mention construction or even the study of any new railway, merely the upgrade and/or overhaul of the existing route to Mildura from Maryborough. That is only stage one.
The cost of the 35km Litchfield-Minyip line is estimated in the 2014 Murray Basin Rail Report to be $110 million. Pending the business case, I think it would be worth it.Cite? There is nothing on the government website about constructing any new lines, only upgrading the existing railway between Maryborough and Yelta, and presumably the grain lines from Dunolly. Who told you that this proposed line is pending a business case?
The business case is currently being finalised for stage two which involves standardising and increasing the axle loading of lines in the Murray Basin.Again, nothing about constructing a new railway, which as you state has been estimated at costing $110 million - nearly half of the money which has been put forward for the upgrading of the existing route. Why also, would you go to the trouble of the expenditure of upgrading the line between Maryborough and Yelta if there is no plan to standardise it beyond Maryborough to Donald as part of that stage? The only anomaly I can spot is that there is no listing of where trains would run south of Maryborough. This could suggest that perhaps the line through to Ararat is a possible option.
Fine, consolidate stages 2 and 3. Going via Ararat-Maryborough is still the long way around compared to going via Maryborough-Ballarat to get to Geelong.No, you're still leaving things wide open for road transport to take away the traffic, and increasing the time and distance that trains are running by effectively having them "backtrack" to access Dunolly. Your staged proposal simply won't work, as you are not prioritising the most direct route for standardisation, which is via Maryborough and Ballarat. It is direct for both grain traffic to Geelong, and container traffic to Melbourne. The Ararat to Maryborough line has only been mentioned as a route for accessing Portland only.
They don't go to Portland because they bloody well can't at the moment, for reasons that you should be aware of already. Trans-shipment isn't a proper solution.Ten years ago, there were trains running direct from Dunolly to Portland, but they were few and far between. It had nothing to do with the condition of the line either. There simply wasn't the need for trains to run there. It might also surprise you to know that in the last 15 days, there have been two grain trains going into Portland, and they are the only two this year. The traffic is simply not there, as most standard gauge grain trains go to either North Geelong or Appleton Dock for discharge. That is simple fact.
It's only a problem for BG services. Most services would be SG - all the freight and any passenger services (should that happen). I'm only saying make it dual gauge because of the need to get access to the Ballarat North Workshops for BG rollingstock transfers. If that's not an issue due to track duplication on the Ballarat-Melbourne line or whatever, then make it SG-only. Doesn't bother me.I'm simply telling you why dual gauge won't work. Maryborough to Dunolly was done as a short term measure until the rest of the line was standardised. Broad gauge trains are now restricted to 50km/h between those two points because of it. It doesn't bother me if you care or not, to be honest. It's just simple fact, and shows that your idea wasn't as good as you thought it was.
Is this still happening?
Mineral sands freight is near Ouyen, mined around Kulwin.
The only mention of any line connecting the line to Hopetoun from Mildura was via Llascelles. That was only speculation and rumour in 2001. Most likely that came from somebody talking about your 1980's study, and another person adding 2+2, and coming up with 7. I had absolutely no knowledge of the 1980's study until now. When people were talking about it in 2001, I simply discounted it as a rumour. A few times it has cropped here since, and has received the same amount of consideration as a realistic option: absolutely none.The 1980s study was the "Grain Handling Review", which was performed by CANAC (Canandian Consultants Ltd.) in 1985. Here's the link, should you wish to look it up yourself: http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/18118347?selectedversion=NBD7179237
The mineral sands traffic is transported from Hopetoun by rail currently. There is talk of a new loader being constructed at Tempy, to get the load off of the roads. In effect, this could mean that Illuka simply start operating their train from Tempy once the Mildura line is standardised, and the Hopetoun site will close. Tempy is a fair bit closer to the mining sites than Hopetoun as well, so this would make sense and help minimise road travel. It would also void the need for any sort of connection to Hopetoun.
Where can one access the report then? I have looked, and cannot find it anywhere.It's titled the "Murray Basin Region Freight Demand And Infrastructure Study". It was on the DPTLI website last year, but it seems to have gone missing. No matter, I have a copy: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7196649/Final-Murray-Basin-report-July-2014.pdf
Cite? There is nothing on the government website about constructing any new lines, only upgrading the existing railway between Maryborough and Yelta, and presumably the grain lines from Dunolly. Who told you that this proposed line is pending a business case?
Recommendation 3: Identify a preferred standardisation option and produce a business case for Government consideration and funding allocation.
Is this still happening?Kulwin finished up in 2012 it seems. Now they're closer to Tempy:
My last few trips along the Mallee Hwy (June and Dec '14 and Jan '15) has seen the Mine deserted, gates locked up, temporary office buildings removed and the High Voltage Power Feeder (from Ouyen) turned off. (As an Electrician I know what it means when Feeder Line Isolators are left open - eg turned off)
Kulwin finished up in 2012 it seems. Now they're closer to Tempy: Their current mine will run out in 2015, but a rail loader at Tempy would be able to be utilised for the Nepean and Balranald mines.
And to clear up any confusion: Iluka Resources is the mining company and Kalari is the trucking company that does the bulk handling on road.
Hi. Could you please explain this in more detail. Where is the proposed Tempy loader and how will this assist Balaranald? is this line still open?The 'Tempy loader' is a loading facility that would be constructed near Tempy Railway station on the Mildura Railway Line for the transhipment of mineral sands. Iluka Resources doesn't take long to exhaust their individual mines - a few years at each site before rehabilitating them and moving on. Because of that, trucks are going to be needed to tranship between the mine site and the railhead.
Thank you for your response. Balranald is a long way from tempy. Not sure people want loads of trucks running through their township. Robinvale would be closer and that line could be converted to SG with the Mildura line. What do you think?Robinvale is closer, but the line from Manangatang to Robinvale is very poor quality (track class 5 - top speed less than 50 kph and minimal line maintenance).
What happens if they rip up the old track and replace it entirely?A lot of money is spent. 'Whose money?' is the pertinent question.
Robinvale is closer, but the line from Manangatang to Robinvale is very poor quality (track class 5 - top speed less than 50 kph and minimal line maintenance).
The industry trend seems to be towards larger farm-site storage for loading bigger trucks to send towards consolidated grain handling sites. Consolidating at Manangatang and closing the line towards Robinvale saves money that can be reinvested into upgrading the rest of the line, as I outlined earlier. I also note that GrainCorp doesn't list Robinvale as a future rail-capable receival site in their Project Regeneration plan.
Money doesn't grow on trees and just because a section of line was built in the past doesn't necessarily mean that it should be kept on life-support for posterity.
A few questionsFrom the official website: https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/projects/rail-projects/murray-basin-rail-project/
1. When will the line close to BG traffic?
2. How long will the conversion works take?
3. What will maryborough yard look like post the conversion?
From what I'm hearing, about half the roads in the Maryborough yard will be removed. It'll be interesting to see if any BG traffic occurs between Maryborough and Sea Lake/Manangatang during this 5 month period.
Ararat line work will probably begin in earnest mid-2017.
Good post @Trainplanner which makes us all reflect about who is making these decisions and if they know anything about rail. Capacity needs to be placed back into the network for those lines and yards. I can imagine Redcliffs yard might also be damaged with this project preventing another operator getting access to another location in that area since Irymple and Mildura yards are gone. Mildura yard now a disused wasteland since PN took over.Redcliffs yard? little more than a spur! >>> http://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/VCRN/VL1176.pdf
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