PN Mildura loading

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
9101/9102 services are now running 3 locomotives regularly.  With GOG away and therefore in absence of any other info is loading increasing requiring more power?

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/bunbury-street/photo/29196762443

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  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122
9101/9102 services are now running 3 locomotives regularly.  With GOG away and therefore in absence of any other info is loading increasing requiring more power?

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/bunbury-street/photo/29196762443
bevans
What is the plan for the Mildura freight during the gauge convertion?
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

Wakefield is going to shift to Manangatang, running trains from there and trucks to there during the 5 month works closure of the Yelta and Murrayville lines.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Wakefield is going to shift to Manangatang, running trains from there and trucks to there during the 5 month works closure of the Yelta and Murrayville lines.
Beta4Me

Thanks  but you would like a few small dollars on the line to Robinvale with loading there would be a better and importantly safer option.  The road between Manangatang and the border is a goat track.
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

Wakefield is going to shift to Manangatang, running trains from there and trucks to there during the 5 month works closure of the Yelta and Murrayville lines.

Thanks  but you would like a few small dollars on the line to Robinvale with loading there would be a better and importantly safer option.  The road between Manangatang and the border is a goat track.
bevans
You wouldn't take the Mildura-Robinvale-Manangatang road routes, you'd take Mildura-Ouyen-Manangatang which are quite decent roadways.

Nevertheless, I agree that it is quite stupid to be abandoning the Robinvale-Manangatang track section. I'd estimate $5M to reinstate the track and establish a basic hardstand at Robinvale for intermodal traffic. But, the way the government does things, it's probably $50M in their minds which would be uneconomical.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
There is no natural advantage for a site at Robinvale over Manangatang, only extra costs. In fact, Illuka is hoping to use Manangatang as a mineral sands transshipment point after gauge conversion, so the hardstand etc could be reused.
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

There is no natural advantage for a site at Robinvale over Manangatang, only extra costs. In fact, Illuka is hoping to use Manangatang as a mineral sands transshipment point after gauge conversion, so the hardstand etc could be reused.
LancedDendrite
How do you figure that?

The Mildura and Robinvale regions are freight centres (as in freight originates from there), but Manangatang is not (well, not even remotely to the same level). Mildura-Ouyen-Robinvale (156km) vs Mildura-Robinvale (90km) is 66km (or 73%) further by road. I estimate (based on 12,000TEU of Wakefield containers) about $250K p.a. additional road damage costs for a Manangatang terminal compared to Robinvale.

Iluka is only planning to use Manangatang as a transshipment location because, surprise-surprise, there currently is no Robinvale option as the track is "booked out of service" (P.C. version of closed/shut/abandoned).

If you look at the Iluka Transport & Logistics Fact Sheet for the Balranald Mineral Sands Project, you'll see they are planning to go by road ~132km Balranald-Tooleybuc-Manangatang for Ilmenite (then railed to port for export) and ~249km Balranald-Tooleybuc-Manangatang-Ouyen-Lascelles-Hopetoun for HMC (then rail to Hamilton MSP for processing). So they are practically insane and want to keep using the Hopetoun Rail Loading Facility when it would cost stuff all to do that at Manangatang too (not to mention the more streamlined rail logistics). We certainly are a long way from where things were at the time of this article. My road damage cost estimates are: $195K p.a. more for the Manangatang Ilmenite and $1,284K p.a. more for the Hopetoun HMC, compared to a Robinvale Rail Loading Facility. Over the total mine life (~9 years), that's $13.3M of savings for government by Iluka using rail from Robinvale! Interestingly, from a Victorian Government perspective, they have a massive reason to incentivise a Robinvale railhead because that would shift almost the entire road damage cost burden to NSW (VIC would only bear the cost of ~1km!).

Further, Iluka has four deposits called the "Euston deposits" which are, unsurprisingly, in the Euston area and have a mine life of approximately seven years (see here). Guess where Euston is? Across the river (literally) from Robinvale.

So clearly Robinvale is the best choice for both intermodal and mineral sands, but I guess no-one is smart enough to take advantage of it!
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
The Mildura and Robinvale regions are freight centres (as in freight originates from there), but Manangatang is not (well, not even remotely to the same level). Mildura-Ouyen-Robinvale (156km) vs Mildura-Robinvale (90km) is 66km (or 73%) further by road. I estimate (based on 12,000TEU of Wakefield containers) about $250K p.a. additional road damage costs for a Manangatang terminal compared to Robinvale.
Beta4Me
The Robinvale line is 'only' booked out between Annuello and Robinvale. Manangatang is the last point beyond which the use of 'modern' (G/XR class) locomotives is restricted. As PN prefer to use such modern motive power on their unit grain trains and GrainCorp is consolidating their rail loading sites, Manangatang is effectively the terminus of the Robinvale line. V/Line's ganger for the area still ventures as far north as Annuello in his hi-rail on a regular basis, however.


If you look at the Iluka Transport & Logistics Fact Sheet for the Balranald Mineral Sands Project, you'll see they are planning to go by road ~132km Balranald-Tooleybuc-Manangatang for Ilmenite (then railed to port for export) and ~249km Balranald-Tooleybuc-Manangatang-Ouyen-Lascelles-Hopetoun for HMC (then rail to Hamilton MSP for processing). So they are practically insane and want to keep using the Hopetoun Rail Loading Facility when it would cost stuff all to do that at Manangatang too (not to mention the more streamlined rail logistics).
Beta4Me
That fact sheet was published in June 2015, at least a month before the Victorian State Government announced that the Murray Basin Rail Project would include gauge conversion of the Manangatang and Kulwin lines and a rebuild of the Maryborough-Ararat line. They were assuming that they would need two different loading points because Manangatang is currently on a broad gauge branch line and was expected to not be converted. In light of this, I fully expect that Iluka Resources will be consolidating their rail loading point to Manangatang to take advantage of this excellent change in State Government policy.

My road damage cost estimates are: $195K p.a. more for the Manangatang Ilmenite and $1,284K p.a. more for the Hopetoun HMC, compared to a Robinvale Rail Loading Facility. Over the total mine life (~9 years), that's $13.3M of savings for government by Iluka using rail from Robinvale!
Beta4Me
Where's your submission to VicRoads and the Rural City of Swan Hill? I'm sure they'd be eager to hear of your wonderful plan to save them millions of taxpayer dollars by throwing money at upgrading ~54 km of railway to 21 TAL standard instead. Hint: you can't do it for $13.3M, let alone just $1.755M when you exclude your ludicrous assumption that HMC will be carted to Hopetoun over using a common SG loading facility at Manangatang.
  Beta4Me Locomotive Driver

The Mildura and Robinvale regions are freight centres (as in freight originates from there), but Manangatang is not (well, not even remotely to the same level). Mildura-Ouyen-Robinvale (156km) vs Mildura-Robinvale (90km) is 66km (or 73%) further by road. I estimate (based on 12,000TEU of Wakefield containers) about $250K p.a. additional road damage costs for a Manangatang terminal compared to Robinvale.
The Robinvale line is 'only' booked out between Annuello and Robinvale. Manangatang is the last point beyond which the use of 'modern' (G/XR class) locomotives is restricted. As PN prefer to use such modern motive power on their unit grain trains and GrainCorp is consolidating their rail loading sites, Manangatang is effectively the terminus of the Robinvale line. V/Line's ganger for the area still ventures as far north as Annuello in his hi-rail on a regular basis, however.


If you look at the Iluka Transport & Logistics Fact Sheet for the Balranald Mineral Sands Project, you'll see they are planning to go by road ~132km Balranald-Tooleybuc-Manangatang for Ilmenite (then railed to port for export) and ~249km Balranald-Tooleybuc-Manangatang-Ouyen-Lascelles-Hopetoun for HMC (then rail to Hamilton MSP for processing). So they are practically insane and want to keep using the Hopetoun Rail Loading Facility when it would cost stuff all to do that at Manangatang too (not to mention the more streamlined rail logistics).
That fact sheet was published in June 2015, at least a month before the Victorian State Government announced that the Murray Basin Rail Project would include gauge conversion of the Manangatang and Kulwin lines and a rebuild of the Maryborough-Ararat line. They were assuming that they would need two different loading points because Manangatang is currently on a broad gauge branch line and was expected to not be converted. In light of this, I fully expect that Iluka Resources will be consolidating their rail loading point to Manangatang to take advantage of this excellent change in State Government policy.

My road damage cost estimates are: $195K p.a. more for the Manangatang Ilmenite and $1,284K p.a. more for the Hopetoun HMC, compared to a Robinvale Rail Loading Facility. Over the total mine life (~9 years), that's $13.3M of savings for government by Iluka using rail from Robinvale!
Where's your submission to VicRoads and the Rural City of Swan Hill? I'm sure they'd be eager to hear of your wonderful plan to save them millions of taxpayer dollars by throwing money at upgrading ~54 km of railway to 21 TAL standard instead. Hint: you can't do it for $13.3M, let alone just $1.755M when you exclude your ludicrous assumption that HMC will be carted to Hopetoun over using a common SG loading facility at Manangatang.
Go shove your obnoxious post with a serious dose of superiority complex.


Iluka absolutely does intend to re-use the Hopetourn railhead: have a read Figure 3.14 on Page 76 of the Part A of the Commonwealth EIS from July 2016 (full index here).

And the Robinvale line is booked out from Mangangatang BP! Straight from V/Line's Booked Out Infrastructure Report (p2):

Line

Location

Infrastructure Involved

Reason booked out / Comments

Date booked out

Reference

Boort - Robinvale Line

Manangatang - Robinvale

Line booked out of service

Booked out by Maintenance Track and Civil" was booked out due to track condition. Baulks have been fitted to the above corridor at KP 457:300

Boort - Robinvale Line

Manangatang - Robinvale


So we've proved that everything in your first two comment blocks is wrong, now let's go for broke with number three...


From the Murray Basin Rail Project Summary Brochure (p7):

Scope of works

Upgrading the Murray Basin rail lines from a 19 tonne to 21 tonne includes:
• restoring the track formation and ballast
• bridge inspections and drainage improvements
• tie renewal and replacement of worn rail
• continuous welding of the track to enable 80km per hour train speed
• replacing life expired sleepers with new concrete timber replacement sleepers on the Yelta to Ararat, Dunolly to Manangatang and Korong Vale to Sea Lake line sections, and with timber sleepers on the Maryborough to Gheringhap dual gauge line section
• supply and placement of additional ballast and re-tamping the track after installation of new sleepers
• vegetation clearance along the track to ensure line of sight safety as required
• upgrading level crossings and signalling

Gauge standardisation includes:
• moving one rail across to the standard gauge configuration and realigning both rails on curves and bridge structures
• supply and installation of additional rail on the new dual gauge section between Warrenheip and Gheringhap
• turnout renewal involving new timber bearers and track fasteners.


Unfortunately there is limited detail of project consitings, so let's make some guesses based on the $416.2M budget (P50 cost estimate from p6)...

From MBRP Business Case:
Reinstate Maryborough to Ararat SG (21 TAL): $65.5M
Upgrade Gheringhap to Maryborough to DG (21 TAL): $133.5M
Convert and upgrade all lines north of Maryborough from BG to SG (21 TAL): $217.2M

From VicSig line guides:

Maryborough to Yelta :

405.931km

Ouyen to Murrayville :

109.103km

Dunolly to Manangatang BP :

248.169km

Korong Vale to Sea Lake :

139.617km

TOTAL :

902.820km

That's an average of ~$240,600/km including everything not just basic track works and level crossings (which is what the 53.406km of Manangatang to Robinvale would be closer to). At that rate, we hit about $12.85M.

I think $12.85M is a major over-estimation of costs for converting this track section and that's before considering the fact that almost everything government done is usually gold-plated.

In any event, that's still less than $13.3M and, remember, that was only counting the Iluka-related savings.


Game, set, match!
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW

1. As PN prefer to use such modern motive power on their unit grain trains and GrainCorp is consolidating their rail loading sites, Manangatang is effectively the terminus of the Robinvale line.


2. That fact sheet was published in June 2015... I fully expect that Iluka Resources will be consolidating their rail loading point to Manangatang to take advantage of this excellent change in State Government policy.

My road damage cost estimates are: $195K p.a. more for the Manangatang Ilmenite and $1,284K p.a. more for the Hopetoun HMC, compared to a Robinvale Rail Loading Facility. Over the total mine life (~9 years), that's $13.3M of savings for government by Iluka using rail from Robinvale!
3. Where's your submission to VicRoads and the Rural City of Swan Hill?
LancedDendrite

Sorry, haven't worked out how to do multiple quotes in a response post.

1.  One of the points of the project is to broaden the opportunities available to rail, including the operators on the lines.  Hypothetically, there are plenty of 48 class that could do the job that are in service that will have the ability to operate on the lines once they are SG.  PN owns a lot of them still.

2. This is interesting.  You'd think that as a key stakeholder, they would have been consulted heavily on this.  That they put this out a month ahead of the announcement (and have not yet adjusted it) suggests they either were not, or that this is their actual plan.

3. Agreed.  You've put some effort into the calcs, if you can support them with references to your sources for the calculations, why not write it up and sent it off somewhere.  If for no other reason than to see what the response is.  Happy to look over a letter if you like.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
@Beta4Me - kudos for the use of sources in your argument.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

My understanding is that the Manangatang - Robinvale line is only 60 lb rail; too light for modern locos, some 30yo locos (e.g. G class) did use it for a while at very low speed, but one would not expect that to be approved again. In effect it was a "T and lighter" extension of the track. Realistically if they were planning to re-open the Robinvale, they would probably insist on heavier rail (47kg or better), and likely a 100% re-sleepering. Some ballast might be considered a novel innovation up that way as well. Cost of that line may come in at rather higher than Beta4Me's calculations as a result. Anyone done the costings for the Wakefield's based on using Sea Lake (or Mittyack) in lieu of Manangatang?

My last trip up that way would have been around 1977; I slept overnight in the DERM (as you did in those days), then smelt the lovely fresh baked bread back to around Annuello (the driver doing the van-goods, none of it of course through traffic). Poor old 63RM was declared a total failure at Manangatang, constant ground relays; they sent the only passenger (me) across to Swan Hill per taxi, even holding the morning Up pass for me to connect.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The people arising the government on this project are the same people who have turning the freight network into the mess it is today. Robinvale is a key agricuktural area as is Euston. Why would they need efficient rail transport to the port ? Come on Don't be irrational.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Train Controller

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Major train fail this week

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