Inland Rail report finds freight train between Brisbane and Melbourne would cost $10b and boost economy

 

News article: Inland Rail report finds freight train between Brisbane and Melbourne would cost $10b and boost economy

A long-mooted freight train line connecting Brisbane and Melbourne would cost about $10 billion to build but would be good for the Australian economy, according to a new report.

  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
This is a better deal for the government than a failed east west link strategy and inveTment. 

How would the business case be viewed assessed by infrastructure Australia and why not start thn project in haste. Makes good sense.

Inland Rail report finds freight train between Brisbane and Melbourne would cost $10b and boost economy

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  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
This is a better deal for the government than a failed east west link strategy and inveTment.

How would the business case be viewed assessed by infrastructure Australia and why not start thn project in haste. Makes good sense.
freightgate
Yes make perfect sense, but remember the gov has only spent $5b on 1,690 different reports and inquiries so far,
maybe they are waiting for that one report that says it's not worth it Rolling Eyes
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I like your approach. This project is vital for the suatainae freight growth but I feel taking into consideration the project does not include terminal upgrades it might struggle getting more freight into this new network.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Reading the report, the nearly 6.4 km long tunnel under Toowoomba will be quite an engineering achievement.  The question is now whether our governments have the fortitude to prevent freight in this country from becoming third rate compared with the rest of the world.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
This is a better deal for the government than a failed east west link strategy and inveTment.

How would the business case be viewed assessed by infrastructure Australia and why not start thn project in haste. Makes good sense.
Yes make perfect sense, but remember the gov has only spent $5b on 1,690 different reports and inquiries so far,
maybe they are waiting for that one report that says it's not worth it Rolling Eyes
Pressman
Nah, if the government wants a report to say it's not worth it badly enough they would just organise one! They know it is good idea BUT the problems are a) they don't want to pay for it so will push it out till after the next election just in case they lose so they can blame the budget blow out on the other mob, b) it will take so long that they will never get any credit for it and c) it involves rail which as a highly unionised industry is anathema to the libs!

BG
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I think Brisbane port will do well out of this link as the port of Melbourne is too expensive and too hard to now access using cheap rail options.

The key will be terminals
and yards to get trains together and for intermodal on the route.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
This is a better deal for the government than a failed east west link strategy and inveTment.

How would the business case be viewed assessed by infrastructure Australia and why not start thn project in haste. Makes good sense.
Yes make perfect sense, but remember the gov has only spent $5b on 1,690 different reports and inquiries so far,
maybe they are waiting for that one report that says it's not worth it Rolling Eyes
Pressman
I think there might have been 1691 reports ,) haha.

In all seriousness, reading through this report, it looks like a thorough job and a compelling case.  When you've got a former Nats leader/Deputy PM, and the Labor transport spokesman and previous Transport minister (Albanese) both pro, plus Warren Truss out in the press yesterday editorialising, its hard to see how this could be resisted.

Also interesting to note that the project makes economic sense but that it wouldn't make sense from an external investor perspective, i.e. it says the government is likely to be the only one who can fund it.  Which explains why they pulled the scoping study for the sale of ARTC.  

Also interesting is that it will be dual gauge all the way from Kagaru to Yelarbon.  I might have missed it in the 2010 study but I thought dual gauge was only to Oakey.  I wonder what the cost to standardise Thallon and the other operating parts of the South West line would be compared to this dual gauging?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I think there might have been 1691 reports ,) haha.

In all seriousness, reading through this report, it looks like a thorough job and a compelling case.  When you've got a former Nats leader/Deputy PM, and the Labor transport spokesman and previous Transport minister (Albanese) both pro, plus Warren Truss out in the press yesterday editorialising, its hard to see how this could be resisted.

Also interesting to note that the project makes economic sense but that it wouldn't make sense from an external investor perspective, i.e. it says the government is likely to be the only one who can fund it.  Which explains why they pulled the scoping study for the sale of ARTC.  

Also interesting is that it will be dual gauge all the way from Kagaru to Yelarbon.  I might have missed it in the 2010 study but I thought dual gauge was only to Oakey.  I wonder what the cost to standardise Thallon and the other operating parts of the South West line would be compared to this dual gauging?
jamesbushell.au
I very much doubt it will actually be built DG to Yelarbon and there is zero to be gained in doing so. Maybe, just maybe its worth DG'ing up the range. But not to the SW. Save the cash and gauge convert a branch into Goonda and to Thallon. Once they have a SG link to the port from down that way, there will be zero incentive to use NG and I think it would be a waste of money doing DG.

For over 10 years now, multiple studies by both sides of the fence have said mid 2020's and not before. While both sides hold that stance it will never be built any time soon.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ive been reading (in one of the Local Govt submissions to the Inland Rail Implementation Group) this morning that the South West lines are 15-16t axle load rated - is this true?  It would make far more sense to me to upgrade to a higher axle load and SG than DG to Yelarbon.

Im confident about this one going ahead and something being done before 2020.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Ive been reading (in one of the Local Govt submissions to the Inland Rail Implementation Group) this morning that the South West lines are 15-16t axle load rated - is this true?  It would make far more sense to me to upgrade to a higher axle load and SG than DG to Yelarbon.
jamesbushell.au
I don't think you will find any dual gauging planed for Yelarbon way !

The way I see It a brand new standard gauge line Is planed from Moree to Charlton (Toowoomba) replacing any existing track In It's way.

Narrow gauge would than be phased out In the region (as 15.75 Tonne motive power and rolling stock wear out)
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Nope.  Refer to page 104 of the business case.  Dual NG/SG all the way from Yelarbon to Acacia Ridge (and onto Port of Brisbane when the link is done).
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Ive been reading (in one of the Local Govt submissions to the Inland Rail Implementation Group) this morning that the South West lines are 15-16t axle load rated - is this true?  It would make far more sense to me to upgrade to a higher axle load and SG than DG to Yelarbon.
I don't think you will find any dual gauging planed for Yelarbon way !

The way I see It a brand new standard gauge line Is planed from Moree to Charlton (Toowoomba) replacing any existing track In It's way.

Narrow gauge would than be phased out In the region (as 15.75 Tonne motive power and rolling stock wear out)
Nightfire
Consider most of the rolling stock past the at or near the end of its normal life and due to the tight profile and lighter axle loads, few cheap options remain. The Qld govt is currently spending some money on the range for a cheap upgrade to enable other stock to operate, but this is just filling in time. The whole thing needs to be replaced and you may as do it properly the first time. SG, Double stack profile and 25 to 30t/axle load.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I stand corrected, the ARTC route proposes to go nth of Greater Toowoomba. It does not propose to use the higher speed 2003 alignment as this is regarded as high capital cost and should not mix freight with higher speed commuter traffic. But the line is proposed to be DG up the range and possible using dual track where it currently exists if on the desired alignment.

http://www.artc.com.au/library/IRAS_Final%20Report.pdf
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

With Malcolm Turnbull now PM, and someone who likes trains and trams, it'll be interesting to see if he'll be on-board to make this project happen. Another thing is that he might do so as a bit of a carrot to keep the Nationals in the Federal Coalition.

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jul/29/malcolm-turnbull-live-tweets-public-transport-trip-to-geelong
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
With Malcolm Turnbull now PM, and someone who likes trains and trams, it'll be interesting to see if he'll be on-board to make this project happen. Another thing is that he might do so as a bit of a carrot to keep the Nationals in the Federal Coalition.

http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jul/29/malcolm-turnbull-live-tweets-public-transport-trip-to-geelong
Carnot

This is interesting.  No more captains calls will be the order of the day now.  You can also expect more detailed and longer term policy decisions so this may go well for rail.  Alternatively you might also say Turnbull is not wedded to the road lobby.  He is too smart for that.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I view these reports with some skepticism when they 'Project' what it will achieve without any actual proof than a set of often very rubbery figures.
Firstly, dont think I am in any way against the construction of this line or where it runs as I see ANYTHING rail related as a benefit to Australia.

There were all sorts of similar projections when the Standard Gauge was proposed between Melbourne and Albury and the various sections between Broken Hill to Perth that ships would dock at either Fremantle or Sydney and their cargo (containers) would be shipped by Rail across Australia instead of going by Sea.
I wonder how many, if any, do that today??

I still wonder at this project as to exactly what is the freight is to be shipped between the 2 Cities or picked up/ dropped off enroute to warrant the outlay of the quoted figure of $10 Billion.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I view these reports with some skepticism when they 'Project' what it will achieve without any actual proof than a set of often very rubbery figures.
Firstly, dont think I am in any way against the construction of this line or where it runs as I see ANYTHING rail related as a benefit to Australia.

There were all sorts of similar projections when the Standard Gauge was proposed between Melbourne and Albury and the various sections between Broken Hill to Perth that ships would dock at either Fremantle or Sydney and their cargo (containers) would be shipped by Rail across Australia instead of going by Sea.
I wonder how many, if any, do that today??

I still wonder at this project as to exactly what is the freight is to be shipped between the 2 Cities or picked up/ dropped off enroute to warrant the outlay of the quoted figure of $10 Billion.
gordon_s1942
This is mainly about the intercapital freight between the two cities (ignore the ag and coal for now, though it is important too).  You just need to drive on the Newell Highway (and the relevant connecitons in Qld and Vic, and also the alternative routes like the Olympic Way and New England Highway) to see the amount of road freight that exists now.  Plus the amount that already goes via Sydney.  These two existing and growing freight sources should give you comfort as to the validity of the project.  Its not reliant on ships docking at Brisbane and transhipping to Melbourne via Rail.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I still wonder at this project as to exactly what is the freight is to be shipped between the 2 Cities or picked up/ dropped off enroute to warrant the outlay of the quoted figure of $10 Billion.
gordon_s1942

I tend to share your view.  Reading on here the question still remains, where will the new traffic come from?  Melbourne for rail is almost dead with significant forward issues with rail access to the port. If Sydney can then build a bigger port business then how will inland rail link add value?  Sydney Port traffic will still need to transit the Sydney metro network.

If Brisbane builds the port business (taking business from Melbourne) then I can see how this might be of help.

What i can see if the ability to add more terminals in the rural locations, but this can happen now.

What I have also considered is if this project will lead to re-opening of some lines and perhaps the closure of others.  For example: http://nswrail.net/lines/show.php?name=NSW:gwabegar the inland line is intending to run via Gwabegar in a north south context.  Is it possible the line from Gwabegar to Binaway http://nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Binnaway&line=NSW:gwabegar:0 may reopen?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

Also interesting is that it will be dual gauge all the way from Kagaru to Yelarbon.  I might have missed it in the 2010 study but I thought dual gauge was only to Oakey.  I wonder what the cost to standardise Thallon and the other operating parts of the South West line would be compared to this dual gauging?
jamesbushell.au

DG will never go SW of Toowoomba, there is zero justification as all the rail contestable freight from the SW and even freight from that way that isn't on the rail is Brisbane bounded.

The capital cost options are this
(1)
- Build DG from Toowoomba to Yelarbon, about 200km, more costly sleepers, 200km worth more rail and high cost points.

- Then leave the existing NG track in place forcing traffic to continue to use light weight trains.
- Probably means someone with a bit of common sense will eventually build a container loading yard/silo on the SG main.

(2)
- Build SG only SW of Toowoomba and upgrade the NG track west of Yelarbon to SG a distance of 55km to Goonda and 150km or so further west, a total of ~200km (if it even goes that far) and enable the full use of SG trains and multi operators.

Personally even if cost is same, I'd take that 200km of extra rail (100km of track), plus the money from DG sleepers and high cost points.  The reclaim some of the better NG rail currently in place and with concrete sleepers to Goonda and build a new container yard for 1500m trains and steel sleepers out to Thallon.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I still wonder at this project as to exactly what is the freight is to be shipped between the 2 Cities or picked up/ dropped off enroute to warrant the outlay of the quoted figure of $10 Billion.

I tend to share your view.  Reading on here the question still remains, where will the new traffic come from?  Melbourne for rail is almost dead with significant forward issues with rail access to the port. If Sydney can then build a bigger port business then how will inland rail link add value?  Sydney Port traffic will still need to transit the Sydney metro network.

If Brisbane builds the port business (taking business from Melbourne) then I can see how this might be of help.

What i can see if the ability to add more terminals in the rural locations, but this can happen now.

What I have also considered is if this project will lead to re-opening of some lines and perhaps the closure of others.  For example: http://nswrail.net/lines/show.php?name=NSW:gwabegar the inland line is intending to run via Gwabegar in a north south context.  Is it possible the line from Gwabegar to Binaway http://nswrail.net/locations/show.php?name=NSW:Binnaway&line=NSW:gwabegar:0 may reopen?
bevans
As the other poster said, look at the route now, its flooded with trucks. Are trucks driving from Brisbane to Melbourne or VV to use the port at the other end? I doubt it for most of them.

The inland adds no value to Sydney or VV.

The Inland would also carry Bris - Perth/Adel traffic, saving considerable time.

In 2012/13, Brisbane Port exported over 2.1mt of grain? (Newcastle 1.6mt), how much do you think went via rail (assuming its all from W/SW Qld? I don't know but at a guess I'll say less than 500,000t. Certanly the oppurtunity to double if not triple what happens now and maybe even pinch some from NSW and reduce congestion to Newcastle.

Cotton in same period from Brisbane, 650,000t, how much went via rail?

Coal, 8.5mtpa, and despite what many think its not a dieing doom and gloom industry.

Queensland saw a five per cent growth in coal exports year on year, with three coal ports setting new export records, the QRC reports.
The state has shipped 219.4 million tonnes for this financial year.
“QRC analysis of port export data for the 2014-15 financial year shows that three ports broke coal export records, being Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal with exports of 71.6 million tonnes, Hay Point Coal Terminal (43.4 million tonnes) and Abbot Point (28.7 million tonnes). Gladstone Port at 68.5 million tonnes was just short of last year’s record,” the Queensland Resources Council said.
“Preliminary advice from Port of Brisbane is that they shipped 7.2 million tonnes of coal in 2014-15,” it added.

http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/News/Coal-exports-still-breaking-records

Current estimate is about 6mtpa of freight moves between the two capitals, rail currently gets nearly 30%, Inland is expected to raise this to 50-60% (ie double) and this is expected to double again by 2050. So just getting that double now and assuming only the new to rail moves on Inland, that's 2mtpa, roughly a train each way per day a second train by 2050.

For EC to Perth, there is 13m and rail is about 8m, 2m by sea. (2009 data)
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

One of the big benefits for Sydney, and to a lesser extent Brisbane, is more capacity on its urban network for passenger trains.  The report makes that clear (see pages 8 & 9 of the business case).
  NSWGR8022 Chief Train Controller

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
One of the big benefits for Sydney, and to a lesser extent Brisbane, is more capacity on its urban network for passenger trains.  The report makes that clear (see pages 8 & 9 of the business case).
Carnot

Read that part last night but how does the project assist freight in and out of Sydney as Port Botany is growing at a rapid rate at the expense of Melbourne.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
One of the big benefits for Sydney, and to a lesser extent Brisbane, is more capacity on its urban network for passenger trains.  The report makes that clear (see pages 8 & 9 of the business case).

Read that part last night but how does the project assist freight in and out of Sydney as Port Botany is growing at a rapid rate at the expense of Melbourne.
NSWGR8022
It gets rid of the through traffic going Melbourne-Brisbane.  This will release train paths for more local Sydney traffic.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Refer to this article, about half way down the page.

http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/stayathome-parents-to-receive-more-money-as-nationals-liberals-strike-deal-20150915-gjn392.html

"Support for the up-to $10 billion Inland Rail project, funding for the Coalition's dams policy, agriculture and Northern Australia white papers, a jobs program for regional Australia and more money to tackle regional mobile phone and TV blackspots have also been agreed, Fairfax Media understands."

So it is more of a goer than not.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Reading this thread a question comes to mind as I can see the benefit of the rails ink on shifting freight from road to rail. But  

The above Brisbane to Melbourne traffic will need soOne where to get on and off the network. As mentioned how can this be achieved with Melbourne pulling out yards and port access badly managed ?

If you assume none of the 30% increase in rail share is to or from a poet then it needs to go some where to load and unload.

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